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Comparison of industrial emissions and carpet dust concentrations of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans in a multi-center U.S. study

Deziel, Nicole C., Nuckols, John R., Jones, Rena R., Graubard, Barry I., De Roos, Anneclaire J., Pronk, Anjoeka, Gourley, Chris, Colt, Joanne S., Ward, Mary H.
The Science of the total environment 2017 v.580 pp. 1276-1286
burning, case-control studies, cement, coal, databases, demographic statistics, dust, electricity, emissions, environmental protection, exposure pathways, global positioning systems, hazardous waste, humans, incinerators, kilns, meteorological data, municipal solid waste, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, polychlorinated dibenzodioxins, polychlorinated dibenzofurans, regression analysis, risk, sewage sludge, toxicity, Iowa
Proximity to facilities emitting polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDD/F) has been associated with increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). There is limited information about whether proximity to industrial sources leads to indoor PCDD/F contamination of homes. We measured carpet dust concentrations (pg/g) of 17 toxic PCDD/F congeners and calculated their toxic equivalence (TEQ) in 100 homes in a population-based case-control study of NHL in Detroit, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Iowa (1998–2000). We took global positioning system readings at residences and obtained coordinates and PCDD/F emissions (ng TEQ/yr) from an Environmental Protection Agency database for 6 facility types: coal-fired electricity generating plants, cement kilns burning non-hazardous waste, hazardous waste incinerators, medical waste incinerators, municipal solid waste incinerators, and sewage sludge incinerators. For each residence, we computed an inverse distance-squared weighted average emission index (AEI [pg TEQ/km2/yr]) for all facilities within 5km from 1983 to 2000. We also computed AEIs for each of the 6 facility types. We evaluated relationships between PCDD/F dust concentrations and the all-facility AEI or categories of facility-type AEIs using multivariable linear regression, adjusting for study center, demographics, and home characteristics. A doubling of the all-facility AEI was associated with a 4–8% increase in PCDD/F dust concentrations of 7 of 17 PCDD/F congeners and the TEQ (p-value<0.1). We also observed positive associations between PCDD/F dust concentrations and facility-type AEIs (highest vs. lowest exposure category) for municipal solid waste incinerators (9 PCDD/F, TEQ), and medical waste incinerators (7 PCDD/F, TEQ) (p<0.1). Our results from diverse geographical areas suggest that industrial PCDD/F emission sources contribute to residential PCDD/F dust concentrations. Our emissions index could be improved by incorporating local meteorological data and terrain characteristics. Future research is needed to better understand the links between nearby emission sources, human exposure pathways, and health risks.