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AMI has recently completed the development of the health risk assessment model ACEME (Assessment of Chemical Exposure to Mercury Emissions) that is suitable for stack emissions, such as those  from coal-fired power plants and waste incinerators.   The ACEME model is a derivative of the model ACEHWCF (Assessment of Chemical Exposure for Hazardous Waste Combustion Facilities) that fully implements the recent guidelines from the U.S. EPA ( Human Health Risk Assessment Protocol for Hazardous Waste Combustion Facilities ). 

Major features of the ACEME risk assessment model include:

bullet a multi-source, multi-pathway, multi-pollutant and multi-receptor model that allows a comprehensive and accurate assessment of potential health risks (both carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic) from either a single facility or several facilities in a cumulative/regional analysis,
bullet realistic risk estimates through Monte Carlo probabilistic risk assessment,
bullet treatment of mercury in various phases (vapor, particle and particle-bound), its deposition (wet and dry) and methylation into methylmercury (MeHg),
bullet interface with regulatory dispersion models, such as ISCST3 and AERMOD for localized analysis (within 50 km of the facility) and CALPUFF for long-range transport (beyond 50 km). An efficient algorithm has been implemented to handle several pollutants (mercury and other toxics), receptors and sources without incurring large amount of disk storage space,
bullet In addition to inhalation risks, the multipathway exposure algorithms recommended by the U.S. EPA are used to evaluate indirect (or non-inhalation) risks from dermal absorption, ingestion of soil, drinking water and food. Food ingestion includes consumption of vegetables, beef, pork, milk, eggs, poultry, fish and mother's milk. To accommodate a wide variety of local settings, the ACEME model can evaluate risks from food sources located either onsite (homegrown) or offsite.

For each receptor location, the ACEME model can:

bullet compute potential risks for several EPA-recommended exposure scenarios (adult resident, child resident, subsistence fisher, subsistence fisher child, subsistence farmer and subsistence farmer child),
bullet quantify noncancer health effects (both acute and chronic)  through hazard quotients or indices,
bullet compute hazard quotients for affected target organs,
bullet tabulate predicted cancer risks and noncancer hazard indices both by pollutants and by emission sources,
bullet perform a probabilistic risk assessment to quantify the effects of uncertainty of parameters (e.g., fate and transport parameters, exposure parameters, toxicity data). With appropriate probability distributions of major parameters, the model uses the Monte Carlo method to develop more realistic risk estimates than the single point method.    

ACEME incorporates many user-friendly capabilities of the AMI-developed ACE2588 model that has widely been used, since 1991, in health risk assessment for hundreds of facilities in California and elsewhere. The ACEME model should significantly save time and costs for preparing the health risk assessments. It would also expedite their review and approval by regulatory agencies.

Download the ACEME technical presentation presented at the 8th Electric Utilities Environmental Conference, January 2005, Tucson, AZ.

Download the ACEME/ACEHWCF sample output for the U.S. EPA Region VI Mercury Exposure Test Case.


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