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Aggregate Human Health Risk Assessment from Dust of Daily Life in the Urban Environment of Beijing

Authors

  • L.Y. Xu,

    Corresponding author
    1. State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China
    • Address correspondence to Linyu Xu, Associate Professor, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China; tel/fax: (8610) 58800618; xly@bnu.edu.cn.

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  • X. Shu

    1. State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China
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Abstract

Because of the high emissions of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) into the environment by the increasing number of vehicles in Beijing and the absorption of these PAHs onto particulates, the performance of a preliminary health risk assessment of the aggregate exposure to PAHs of urban citizens in daily life is very important. Urban dust can be used to examine the aggregation of atmospheric particulates from local pollution sources over a long time period and the direct exposure of the urban human population. The environment's correlative with clothing, dining, residing, and traveling in urban daily life was assessed using exposure-receptor-oriented analysis. The multipathway exposure model was used to simulate the lifetime exposure of a female citizen to PAHs in dust. All of the PAH concentrations in dust for each behavior and its correlative environment in Beijing were acceptable because all of the carcinogenic risks of PAHs in the dust were approximately 1.0 × 10–6. The dominant induced carcinogenic risks in the dust were Benzo(a)pyrene and Dibenzo(a,h)anthracene. The main carcinogenic risk routes for humans were dermal contact and oral intake, which contributed on average 99.78% of the risk. Indoor risk is especially important, as the decoration and height within the building were important impact factors for carcinogenic risk induced by indoor PAHs. For people living in an urban area, a healthy lifestyle includes less decoration per room, living on a low floor, wearing a respirator, and reducing exposed skin area when traveling.

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