Volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions and health risk assessment in paint and coatings industry in the Yangtze River Delta, China


Solvent use and paint consumption are significant source sectors of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emissions in China. The occupational painters have high risk of health effect due to exposure to high VOCs concentration. However, the toxic components in coating environment have not been carefully identified, and the health risks of VOCs exposure have not been sufficiently assessed. This study collected air samples from nine workshops of three major coating sectors in the Yangtze River Delta of China, namely cargo container coating, ship equipment coating, and furniture coating, to evaluate the non-cancer and cancer risk of toxic VOCs exposure to occupational painters under a normal working condition. The results show that the container coating had highest cancer risk (2.29 × 10-6-5.53 × 10-6) exceeding the safe limit of 1.0 × 10-6, while non-cancer risk of all workshops was lower than acceptable level of 1. Ethylbenzene and 1,2-dichloropropane should be targeted for priority removal during the container coating process in attempt to reduce adverse health effect on the occupational painters. This study helps better understand the health risk of VOCs exposure in coating workshops in China and provides information for policy-makers to formulate possible control of specific toxic compounds during coating process.

Authors: Ziwei Mo, Sihua Lu, Min Shao
; Full Source: Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987) 2020 Oct 19;269:115740. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2020.115740.