The concentration of BTEX compounds and health risk assessment in municipal solid waste facilities and urban areas

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  • Fatemeh Yousefian
  • Mohammad Sadegh Hassanvand
  • Ramin Nabizadeh Nodehi
  • Amini, Heresh
  • Noushin Rastkari
  • Mina Aghaei
  • Masud Yunesian
  • Kamyar Yaghmaeian

In this study, human exposure to benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes (BTEX), along with their respective risk assessment is studied in four major units (n = 14-point sources) of the largest municipal solid waste management facilities (MSWF) in Iran. The results were compared with four urban sites in Tehran, capital of Iran. Workers at the pre-processing unit are exposed to the highest total BTEX (151 μg m−3). In specific, they were exposed to benzene concentrations of 11 μg m−3. Moreover, the total BTEX (t-BTEX) concentrations measured over the conveyor belt was 198 μg m−3 at most, followed by trommel (104), and active landfills (43). The mean concentration of ambient t-BTEX in Tehran is 100 μg m−3. On average, xylenes and toluene have the highest concentrations in both on-site and urban environments, with mean values of 24 and 21, and 41 and 37 μg m−3, respectively. Even though the non-carcinogenic risk of occupational exposure is negligible, BTEX is likely to increase the chance of carcinogenic risks (1.7E-05) for workers at the pre-processing unit. A definite carcinogenic risk of 1.3E-04, and non-carcinogenic effect, of HI = 1.6 were observed in one urban site. With the exception of the pre-processing unit, the citizens of Tehran had higher exposure to BTEX. Overall, BTEX concentrations in the largest MSWF of Iran remains an issue of public health concern.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110068
JournalEnvironmental Research
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • Benzene, Exposure, Health risk, Municipal solid waste, Volatile organic compounds

ID: 253232212