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Assessing the inhalation cancer risk of particulate matter bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) for the elderly in a retirement community of a mega city in North China

Bin Han, Yating Liu, Yan You, Jia Xu, Jian Zhou, Jiefeng Zhang, Can Niu, Nan Zhang, Fei He, Xiao Ding, Zhipeng Bai
Environmental science and pollution research international 2016 v.23 no.20 pp. 20194-20204
Monte Carlo method, United States Environmental Protection Agency, air pollutants, air pollution, breathing, elderly, environmental exposure, females, lognormal distribution, lung neoplasms, males, men, models, particulates, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, probabilistic risk assessment, questionnaires, risk, risk estimate, toxicity, women, China
Assessment of the health risks resulting from exposure to ambient polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) is limited by the lack of environmental exposure data among different subpopulations. To assess the exposure cancer risk of particulate carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon pollution for the elderly, this study conducted a personal exposure measurement campaign for particulate PAHs in a community of Tianjin, a city in northern China. Personal exposure samples were collected from the elderly in non-heating (August–September, 2009) and heating periods (November–December, 2009), and 12 PAHs individuals were analyzed for risk estimation. Questionnaire and time-activity log were also recorded for each person. The probabilistic risk assessment model was integrated with Toxic Equivalent Factors (TEFs). Considering that the estimation of the applied dose for a given air pollutant is dependent on the inhalation rate, the inhalation rate from both EPA exposure factor book was applied to calculate the carcinogenic risk in this study. Monte Carlo simulation was used as a probabilistic risk assessment model, and risk simulation results indicated that the inhalation-ILCR values for both male and female subjects followed a lognormal distribution with a mean of 4.81 × 10⁻⁶ and 4.57 × 10⁻⁶, respectively. Furthermore, the 95 % probability lung cancer risks were greater than the USEPA acceptable level of 10⁻⁶ for both men and women through the inhalation route, revealing that exposure to PAHs posed an unacceptable potential cancer risk for the elderly in this study. As a result, some measures should be taken to reduce PAHs pollution and the exposure level to decrease the cancer risk for the general population, especially for the elderly.