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A case study of BTEX characteristics and health effects by major point sources of pollution during winter in Iran

Baghani, Abbas Norouzian, Sorooshian, Armin, Heydari, Maryam, Sheikhi, Razieh, Golbaz, Somayeh, Ashournejad, Qadir, Kermani, Majid, Golkhorshidi, Faranak, Barkhordari, Abdullah, Jafari, Ahmad Jonidi, Delikhoon, Mahdieh, Shahsavani, Abbas
Environmental pollution 2019 v.247 pp. 607-617
BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene), Monte Carlo method, United States Environmental Protection Agency, benzene, breathing, case studies, emissions, ethylbenzene, evaporation, health effects assessments, monitoring, natural gas, neoplasms, pollution, risk, spatial variation, temporal variation, toluene, traffic, winter, xylene, Iran
This study characterized spatio-temporal variations in the concentration of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene (BTEX) compounds in the vicinity of gas and compressed natural gas (CNG) stations in Tehran, Iran. Health risk assessment (HRA) was computed using Monte Carlo simulations (MCS) for evaluating inhalation lifetime cancer risk (LTCR), the hazard quotient (HQ), and sensitivity analysis (SA) for BTEX exposure in different age groups (birth to <81) and as a function of distance (0–250 m) from the center of the stations. For all monitoring stations, the average values of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene in winter were 466.09 ± 132.25, 873.13 ± 233.51, 493.05 ± 141.22, and 910.57 ± 145.40 μg m−3, respectively. The mean wintertime ratios of T/B for the 12 stations ranged from 1.69 to 2.04. Furthermore, there was no significant relationship between the concentration of BTEX with either the specific month or distance from the center of stations (p > 0.05). Factors promoting BTEX formation in the study region were fuel evaporation and gas/CNG station emissions. The LTCRs for the target compounds in the winter for different age groups and distances from the center of stations was limited to 2.11 × 10−4 to 1.82 × 10−3 and 2.30 × 10−4 to 2.01 × 10−3, respectively, which exceeded proposed values by U.S. EPA. Moreover, the HQs for BTEX for three age groups and distances were limited to between 2.89 × 10−5 and 9.33 × 10−2, which were lower than the acceptable limit (HQs < 1). The results of this work are applicable to similar areas that are heavily populated with vehicular traffic. This study motivates a closer look at mitigation strategies to limit the health effects of carcinogenic emissions such as benzene and ethylbenzene from gas/CNG stations.