Formaldehyde Exposure in Indoor Air From Public Places and Its Associated Health Risks in Kunshan City, China

This study assessed the noncarcinogenic and carcinogenic health risks associated with formaldehyde exposure for employees working in 4 categories of public places in Kunshan City in China. A total of 564 different public places, which can be divided into 4 categories (hotel and social interaction places, bathing and beauty places, cultural and entertainment places, and shopping places), and 2716 indoor air samples in those places were measured from January 1, 2010, to December 31, 2015. The average concentration of formaldehyde was 0.57 mg/m3, which is 5.7 times the acceptable concentration level (0.1 mg/m3). The noncarcinogenic risk assessment index for the 4 categories of places tested was above 1. The carcinogenic risk of formaldehyde for employees of the 4 categories of public places was 4.70 × 10-5 to 1.57 × 10-4, which was greater than the acceptable carcinogenic risk probability (1 × 10-6) from the US Environmental Protection Agency. The highest carcinogenic risk occurred in bathing and beauty places, and male employee carcinogenic risk was greater than that of females. Occupational formaldehyde exposure has serious noncarcinogenic and carcinogenic health risks for employees, and further research is needed to improve indoor air quality in the workplace environment.

Authors: Liang X, Zhang J, Song W, Wang K, Zhang B. ; Full Source: Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health. 2018 Sep 15:1010539518800348. doi: 10.1177/1010539518800348. [Epub ahead of print]