Investigation of health risk assessment and odor pollution of volatile organic compounds from industrial activities in the Yangtze River Delta region, China

2020-10-28

To investigate composition characteristics and assess occupational health risks and odor pollution of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from industrial activities in the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) region, China, one-year field measurements of VOCs were conducted simultaneously at an iron and steel industrial park (ISP), one chemical industrial park (CMP) and one petrochemical industrial park (PCP) from September, 2018 to August, 2019. The concentrations of VOCs were 80.2 ± 67.9 ppbv, 28.1 ± 27.2 ppbv and 144 ± 378 ppbv for ISP, CMP and PCP, respectively. Aromatics, alkanes and alkenes were the major components of VOCs at ISP, CMP and PCP, respectively. Moreover, the toluene to benzene ratios were 0.330 ± 0.302, 4.31 ± 6.48 and 1.84 ± 3.34, which generally showed the characteristics of combustion source for ISP, industrial activities for CMP and petrochemical industry for PCP, respectively. The hazard index values were 0.752 ± 0.438, 0.108 ± 0.248 and 0.090 ± 0.260 at ISP, CMP and PCP, which were generally lower than threshold limit value, suggesting a low noncarcinogenic risk for workers. Meanwhile, the 95th percentile LCR values of VOCs were 8.76 × 10-5, 1.15 × 10-5 and 1.00 × 10-5 at ISP, CMP and PCP, respectively, which were also under acceptable risk level, indicating a low carcinogenic risk. Benzene and 1,3-butadiene were main harmful substances for both noncarcinogenic and carcinogenic risks of VOCs. The odor levels of VOCs were 2.12 ± 4.21, 12.5 ± 28.7 and 1.01 ± 7.84 at ISP, CMP and PCP, respectively. Aromatics for ISP and sulfide compounds for CMP and PCP were primary pollutants for odor pollution. This work could improve the understanding of risk levels and odor characteristics of VOCs and benefit policy development on alleviating odor complaints and health risks for workers in YRD region, China.

Authors: Haohao Jia, Song Gao, Yusen Duan, Qingyan Fu, Xiang Che, Hui Xu, Zhuo Wang, Jinping Cheng
; Full Source: Ecotoxicology and environmental safety 2020 Oct 28;208:111474. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2020.111474.