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Complete Health Indicator Report of Acetaldehyde in Outdoor Air


Mean of modeled annual average acetaldehyde concentration for census tracts in a county, using 2017 NATA data


Modeled mean acetaldehyde concentration in micrograms per cubic meter



Why Is This Important?

Acetaldehyde is emitted into the atmosphere through incomplete combustion of gasoline from automotive tailpipe exhaust, and can also be found in smokestack emissions and in smoke produced from fires. In New Jersey's urban areas, emissions are primarily from mobile sources (e.g., cars, trucks, buses) with minor contribution from stationary sources (e.g., fireplaces and wood stoves, forest and wildfires, pulp and paper production, wastewater processing). People exposed to acetaldehyde can experience irritation of the respiratory tract and altered respiratory function. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has concluded that acetaldehyde is a probable human carcinogen.

How Are We Doing?

All New Jersey counties exceed the health benchmark of 0.45 micrograms of acetaldehyde per cubic meter of air. The highest ambient air concentrations can be found in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Union Counties. Acetaldehyde air concentrations throughout the state are also influenced by out-of-state emissions from mobile sources.

What Is Being Done?

In the outdoor environment, acetaldehyde is a byproduct of combustion and subject to the general controls on automobile and stationary sources. Industrial facilities that emit this chemical must obtain permits from the NJDEP Air Program and are also subject to state and federal air pollution control technology requirements.

Available Services

To view select air quality data collected at outdoor monitors across the United States, go to: [] Historic New Jersey County Risk Ratio tables can be found at the following URL: []

Related Indicators

Related Relevant Population Characteristics Indicators:

Data Tables

Acetaldehyde Concentrations in Outdoor Air, by New Jersey County, 2017 NATA

CountyMean Concentration (ug/m3)
Record Count: 22
Cape May0.69
New Jersey0.84

Data Notes

Data Source: USEPA National-scale Air Toxics Assessment (NATA), 2017 and NJDEP Division of Air Quality

Data Sources

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Bureau of Air Monitoring, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

Source Contribution Estimates, Percent by Source, Statewide for New Jersey, 2017 NATA

Percent of Acetaldehyde by Source
Record Count: 5
On-road Mobile3.8
Non-road Mobile1.8

Data Notes

Data Source: USEPA National-scale Air Toxics Assessment (NATA), 2017 and NJDEP Division of Air Quality

References and Community Resources

The USEPA Integrated Risk Information System provides more detailed information about acetaldehyde and research studies on its health effects at: [] New Jersey Statewide Average 2005 NATA Modeled Air Concentrations and comparisons to health benchmarks can be found at: [] Pollution Prevention and Community Right to Know: [] NJDEP "What's in My Community?" mapping application: [] On the map you will find every facility with an air permit registered with the Division of Air Quality at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Page Content Updated On 03/17/2022, Published on 03/22/2022
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's NJSHAD web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Tue, 23 April 2024 13:26:31 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: ".

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