Degree Name

MPH (Master of Public Health)


Public Health

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Tiejian Wu

Committee Members

Mary Beth Hogan, Joanne Walker Flowers


Data of 1338 respondents from the Priority Toxicant Reference Range Study were analyzed to examine exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Self-reported contact to chemical products and blood concentrations of specific chemicals were analyzed. Neurobehavioral function was assessed by simple reaction time test (SRTT), symbol digit substitution test (SDST), and serial digit learning test (SDLT). Prevalence of exposure to VOC products was, for instance, air freshener/room deodorant - 34.7%, gasoline - 29.2%, finger nail polish - 16.2%, and diesel fuel/ kerosene - 10.6%. The 95th percentiles of blood VOCs (μg/L) were calculated for 41 chemicals including Benzene - 0.476, 1,1,1-Trichloroethane - 0.799, o-Xylene - 0.271, and Styrene - 0.177. Significant correlation coefficients included 0.216* with SRTT and 0.130* with SDST for 1,4-Dichlorobenzene, 0.097* with SDST for 1,1,2-Trichloroethane, 0.098* with SDLT for Chloroform, and 0.115* with SDLT for Dibromochloromethane (* p<0.05) suggesting possible neurobehavioral effects. Study results provided pilot data of exposure status and reference ranges of VOCs for the US population.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.

Included in

Public Health Commons