Environmental health and toxicology

Exposure measurement, risk assessment and source identification for exposure of traffic assistants to particle-bound PAHs in Tianjin, China

Xiaodan Xue , Yan You , Jianhui Wu , Bin Han , Zhipeng Bai , Naijun Tang , Liwen Zhang


Received March 07, 2013,Revised July 03, 2013, Accepted , Available online January 27, 2014

Volume ,2014,Pages 448-457

To investigate the levels of exposure to particulate-bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) and to estimate the risk these levels pose to traffic assistants (TAs) in Tianjin (a megacity in North China), a measurement campaign (33 all-day exposure samples, 25 occupational-exposure samples and 10 indoor samples) was conducted to characterize the TAs' exposure to PAHs, assess the cancer risk and identify the potential sources of exposure. The average total exposure concentration of 14 PAHs was approximately 2871 ± 928 ng/m3 (on-duty), and 1622 ± 457 ng/m3 (all-day). The indoor PAHs level was 1257 ± 107 ng/m3. After 8000 Monte Carlo simulations, the cancer risk resulting from exposure to PAHs was found to be approximately 1.05 × 10-4. A multivariate analysis was applied to identify the potential sources, and the results showed that, in addition to vehicle exhaust, coal combustion and cooking fumes were also another two important contributors to personal PAH exposure. The diagnostic ratios of PAH compounds agree with the source apportionment results derived from principal component analysis.

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