Toluene is a clear, colourless, volatile and flammable liquid under standard conditions. It is a naturally occurring component of crude oil and petroleum. Its odour has been described as sweet and pungent. Toluene is also formed during the combustion of organic materials. The manufacturing of toluene occurs primarily by the distillation of petroleum. The primary use of toluene in Canada is in the production of benzene. Toluene is widely used as a solvent in paints, varnishes, pesticide formulations, printing inks, dyes, adhesives, sealants, cleaning agents, nail polish, and for chemical extractions. The major sectors in Alberta that release toluene to air are the oil and gas sector (including oil sands operations, some gas plants, and petroleum refineries) and cement manufacturing. For the majority of these facilities, fugitive emissions comprise the largest portion of toluene emissions to air, although stack emissions, and releases during storage and handling can also contribute greatly to toluene air emissions, depending on the facility. Toluene also is used as a feedstock or starting material in the synthesis of various organic chemicals. The largest source of toluene release to the environment is the production, transport, use and disposal of gasoline, and other industrial and consumer products that contain toluene. Toluene is measured in Alberta by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry of a canister-captured sample with an overall detection limit of 0.033 μg m-3. From 1993 to 2003, the Edmonton East air quality monitoring station (at 17 St. and 105 Ave.) recorded 24-hour average toluene concentrations ranging from 0.43 μg m-3 to 224.62 μg m-3, with an average of 4.69 μg m-3.
|Orig. pub. date:||2005-05-|
|Catalogue #:||Document Online|