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Characteristics and health effects of BTEX in a hot spot for urban pollution

Dehghani, Mansooreh, Fazlzadeh, Mehdi, Sorooshian, Armin, Tabatabaee, Hamid Reza, Miri, Mohammad, Baghani, Abbas Norouzian, Delikhoon, Mahdieh, Mahvi, Amir Hossein, Rashidi, Majid
Ecotoxicology and environmental safety 2018 v.155 pp. 133-143
BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene), Monte Carlo method, United States Environmental Protection Agency, World Health Organization, benzene, breathing, emissions, ethylbenzene, municipal solid waste, neoplasms, pollutants, pollution, public health, risk, toluene, xylene, Iran
This study reports a spatiotemporal characterization of toluene, benzene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes concentrations (BTEX) in an urban hot spot in Iran, specifically at an bus terminal region in Shiraz. Sampling was carried out according to NIOSH Compendium Method 1501. The inverse distance weighting (IDW) method was applied for spatial mapping. The Monte Carlo simulation technique was applied to evaluate carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic risk owing to BTEX exposure. The highest average BTEX concentrations were observed for benzene in the morning (at 7:00–9:00 A.M. local time) (26.15 ± 17.65 µg/m³) and evening (at 6:00–8:00 P.M. local time) (34.44 ± 15.63 µg/m³). The benzene to toluene ratios in the morning and evening were 2.02 and 3.07, respectively. The main sources of BTEX were gas stations and a municipal solid waste transfer station. The inhalation lifetime cancer risk (LTCR) for benzene in the morning and evening were 1.96 × 10⁻⁴ and 2.49 × 10⁻⁴, respectively, which exceeds the recommended value by US EPA and WHO. The hazard quotient (HQ) of all these pollutants was less than 1. The results of this work have implications for public health near ‘hot spots’ such as IKBT where large populations are exposed to carcinogenic emissions.