"Loudon acrolein concentrations are about 10 times the national average"


When children play and exercise they breathe harder and take in more air and pollution.

Why are Children More Susceptible to Air Pollution Than Adults?

In many health effects research studies, children are considered as if they were small adults. This is not really true. There are many differences between children and adults in the ways that they respond to air pollution. For example, children take in more air per unit body weight at a given level of exertion than do adults. When a child is exercising at maximum levels, such as during a soccer game or other sports event, they may take in 20 percent to 50 percent more air -- and more air pollution -- than would an adult in comparable activity....Children may also exert themselves harder than adults when playing outside.

 SOURCE: The health effects air pollution on children

How can acrolein affect my health?

There is very little information about how exposure to acrolein affects people’s health. The information we have indicates that breathing large amounts damages the lungs and could cause death. Breathing lower amounts may cause eye watering and burning of the nose and throat and a decreased breathing rate; these effects usually disappear after exposure stops.

Animal studies show that breathing acrolein causes irritation to the nasal cavity, lowered breathing rate, and damage to the lining of the lungs. SOURCE: CDC

Questions Concerning Loudon Draft Assessment

Air Quality Task Force wants answers 

By: Pat Hunter

March 3, 2009

On March 3rd, Chairman Mike Crosby e-mailed questions to the Ken Mitchell with the EPA and Barry Stephens, Air Pollution Control Board, TDEC, concerning the draft Risk Assessment Results.

Chairman Mike Crosby wrote, "On behalf of the Loudon County Air Quality Task Force, please accept our thanks for the work you have done to perform this assessment. We much appreciate the information and help to understand the risks associated with the air quality in our county.


The Task Force met with citizens on February 25th to discuss EPA's draft report and identify questions to allow us to better understand the report. I have summarized them in the attached document.

I believe the majority of the questions are directed to EPA, but some may require TDEC response.
If you are able to respond to these questions prior to us receiving the draft report, it would be helpful to our understanding of this rather complex subject. Thank you again for your support."

The questions are listed below for the EPA and TDEC to reply. The answers will be posted at a later date.


Map shows industry sites and schools Ft. Loudon Middle (MS) & Loudon Elem. School (LES)

Loudon Acrolein Questions


Why does the data show acceptable levels for cancer and noncancer risks, when this is in contrast to the statistics that show Loudon County has high incidences of cancer and noncancer (such as asthma) cases compared to the rest of the State and rest of the country?  Was there any discussion in your studies of health data that is coming out of Loudon County, particularly the City of Loudon?

Non cancer risk: Hazard of 1 is considered acceptable (analogous to 1x10 -6 for cancer). Our monitors show Hazard of 37 or 46. What does this mean?? Is it unacceptable?? Is it 1/2 way between acceptable or unacceptable? We don’t understand the significance of

this number.


If you used IRIS risk levels for formaldehyde, what would the cancer
risk assessment show?  We would like to know how IRIS risk levels would change overall cancer risk.

Please provide monitor data which represent greenfield background levels for acrolein. Where are they located.


An EPA report on acrolein sensors  stated:

“Although the Occupational Safety and Health Administration permissible exposure limit (PEL) for adults is 100 ppbv for 8 hours per day, toxicology experts now suspect that 1 ppbv may pose significant harm to children.”


Since our school monitor is averaging around 0.5 pppv, with a few days above 1.0 ppbv, how concerned should we be?




On page 25 of the EPA presentation, the draft NATA acrolein concentrations are 0.05 micrograms per cubic meter and are driven by on-road sources. We assume the models take into account vehicular traffic on nearby roads and highways. If so, how can we assume vehicular traffic is the cause of monitor readings of 0.74?

A source of Acrolein are landfills.  Are there landfills close enough that they could cause the Acrolein problem?  If so, were they taken into consideration?

Is coal burning an important source of acrolein? Was the TVA Kingston plant included in the model? Do we have data on acrolein emissions from Kingston?

Should we should stack test ?  Should we test other local coal fired boilers at Tate and Lyle and Viskase.

Could wood pulp waste and wood chips burned at Kimberly Clark boiler be a source of acrolein? If so we should also stack test there. (TDEC is planning to test)

Acrolein is contained in certain algaecides. Do local water treatment, waste treatment, swimming pools, or industrial cooling towers use such algaecides?

  "Loudon acrolein concentrations are about 10 times the national average"


The data indicated that Loudon acrolein concentrations are about 10 times the national average. What other areas have concentrations similar to ours? What are the characteristics of these areas? (roads, industry, power plants, suburban, urban, rural, climate etc.)

Your data compared Loudon monitors for 2005-2006 to Average US of 2002 NATA. We assume this is a modeling result. Is this the latest national average available for acrolein?

Would consideration of exposure times at schools, work, or home and effect on children versus adults substantially change your assessment of risk?


Other Comments

Understand Louisville, KY has made changes in air toxics regulations as a result of air monitor data and Risk Analysis. Can we get more information on what was done there?


Have risk assessments for acrolein been performed for other locations? Is so, what were the results? Were steps identified to lower concentrations?



Summarized by:

Michael Crosby

Chairman, Loudon County Air Quality Task Force

March 3, 2009