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Health Indicator Report of Acetaldehyde in Outdoor Air

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.


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


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



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: []
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 Sun, 21 April 2024 23:38:37 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: ".

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