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Preliminary assessment of BTEX concentrations in indoor air of residential buildings and atmospheric ambient air in Ardabil, Iran

Hazrati, Sadegh, Rostami, Roohollah, Farjaminezhad, Manoochehr, Fazlzadeh, Mehdi
Atmospheric environment 2016 v.132 pp. 91-97
BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene), air, atmospheric chemistry, benzene, charcoal, chronic exposure, environmental protection, ethylbenzene, floors, gas chromatography, heating systems, natural gas, neoplasms, pollutants, residential housing, risk, risk assessment, smoking (habit), toluene, xylene, Iran
BTEX concentrations in indoor and outdoor air of 50 homes were studied in Ardabil city and their influencing parameters including; heating system, using gas stove and samovar, tobacco smoking, the floors in which the monitored homes were located, and kitchen plan were considered in the study. Risk assessment analysis was carried out with the obtained concentrations based on EPA IRIS reference doses. BTEX compounds were sampled by charcoal tubes and the samples were analyzed by a GC-FID. Concentrations of benzene (15.18 μg/m³ vs. 8.65 μg/m³), toluene (69.70 μg/m³ vs. 40.56 μg/m³), ethylbenzene (12.07 μg/m³ vs. 4.92 μg/m³) and xylene (48.08 μg/m³ vs. 7.44 μg/m³) in indoor air were significantly (p < 0.05) higher than the levels quantified for outdoor air. The obtained concentrations of benzene were considerably higher than the recommended value of 5 μg/m³ established by Iran environmental protection organization. Among the BTEX compounds, benzene (HQ = 0.51) and xylene (HQ = 0.47) had notable hazard quotient and were the main pollutants responsible for high hazard index in the monitored homes (HI = 1.003). The results showed considerably high cancer risk for lifetime exposure to the indoor (125 × 10⁻⁶) and outdoor (71 × 10⁻⁶) benzene. Indoor benzene concentrations in homes were significantly influenced by type of heating system, story, and natural gas appliances.