[Pollution characteristics and health risk assessment of atmospheric volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in pesticide factory]

Bing Tan, Tie-Yu Wang, Bo Pang, Zhao-Yun Zhu, Dao-Han Wang, Yong-Long Lü
Huan Jing Ke Xue= Huanjing Kexue 2013, 34 (12): 4577-84
A method for determining volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in air by summa canister collecting and gas chromatography/ mass spectroscopy detecting was adopted. Pollution condition and characteristics of VOCs were discussed in three representative pesticide factories in Zhangjiakou City, Hebei Province. Meanwhile, an internationally recognized four-step evaluation model of health risk assessment was applied to preliminarily assess the health risk caused by atmospheric VOCs in different exposure ways, inhalation and dermal exposure. Results showed that serious total VOCs pollution existed in all factories. Concentrations of n-hexane (6161.90-6910.00 microg x m(-3)), benzene (126.00-179.30 microg x m(-3)) and 1,3-butadiene (115.00-177.30 microg x m(-3)) exceeded the Chronic Inhalation Reference Concentrations recommended by USEPA, corresponding to 700, 30 and 2 microg x m(-3), respectively. Concentration of dichloromethane (724.00 microg x m(-3)) in factory B was also higher than the reference concentration (600 microg x m(-3)). Results of health risk assessment indicated that non-carcinogenic risk indexes of VOCs ranged from 1.00E-04 to 1.00E + 00 by inhalation exposure, and 1.00E-09 to 1.00E-05 by dermal exposure. Risk indexes of n-hexane and dichloromethane by inhalation exposure in all factories exceeded 1, and risk index of benzene by inhalation in factory B was also higher than 1. Carcinogenic risk indexes exposed to VOCs ranged from 1.00E-08 to 1.00E-03 by inhalation exposure and 1. oo00E -13 to 1.00E-08 by dermal exposure. Cancer risk of 1,3-butadiene by inhalation exceeded 1.0E-04, which lead to definite risk, and those of benzene by inhalation also exceeded the maximum allowable level recommended by International Commission on Radiological Protection (5.0E-05). The risks of dermal exposure presented the same trend as inhalation exposure, but the level was much lower than that of inhalation exposure. Thus, inhalation exposure of atmospheric VOCs was the dominant way of health risk in these factories.

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