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Health Indicator Report of Naphthalene in Outdoor Air

Naphthalene has been used as a household fumigant, such as in mothballs or moth flakes. Large amounts of naphthalene are used as a chemical intermediate to produce other chemicals. Exposure to naphthalene happens mostly from breathing air contaminated from the burning of wood, tobacco, or fossil fuels, industrial discharges, or moth repellents. Exposure to high levels of naphthalene may damage or destroy red blood cells. Children and adults have developed this condition, known as hemolytic anemia, after ingesting mothballs or deodorant blocks containing naphthalene. Symptoms include fatigue, lack of appetite, nausea, restlessness, and pale skin. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies naphthalene as possibly carcinogenic to humans.

Notes

Data Source: National-scale Air Toxics Assessment (NATA), 2014 and NJDEP Division of Air Quality

Data Sources

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

Definition

Mean of modeled annual average naphthalene concentration for census tracts in a county using 2014 NATA data

Numerator

Modeled mean naphthalene concentration in micrograms per cubic meter

Denominator

N/A

How Are We Doing?

Most New Jersey counties exceed the health benchmark of 0.029 micrograms of naphthalene per cubic meter of air. The highest ambient air concentrations can be found in Hudson, Camden, and Bergen Counties.

What Is Being Done?

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: [http://www.epa.gov/airdata] New Jersey County Risk Ratio tables can be found at the following URL: [http://www.state.nj.us/dep/airmon/airtoxics/nataest.htm#rrtab]
Page Content Updated On 12/20/2018, Published on 12/20/2018
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's NJSHAD web site (https://nj.gov/health/shad). The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Tue, 23 April 2019 20:46:28 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: https://nj.gov/health/shad ".

Content updated: no date