The impact of ambient air on human exposure in terms of PCDD/Fs levels and profiles in the vicinity of MSWIs: A case study
- The impact of ambient air on human exposure in terms of PCDD/Fs levels and profiles in the vicinity of MSWIs: A case study
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- The impact of municipal solid waste incinerators (MSWIs) on polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) levels and profiles in the surrounding air and resident serum has been studied in urban areas of Korea. To assess the influence of MSWIs, a total of 177 human serum samples and 12 ambient air samples were analyzed. Studied ambient airs were sampled in the vicinity of the MSWI under the prevailing wind stream. Serum samples of 177 non-occupationally exposed volunteers who had lived within a 3 km radius of the MSWIs for at least 5 years have been analyzed, while comparison volunteers who had lived outside of the MSWIs assumed impact zone were collected. The spatial change in the influence was not clearly observed on the serum levels of PCDD/Fs as the levels in the near living area (within 3 km) were not statistically different from those in the far area (outside 10 km). All subjects exhibited similar concentrations and profiles, and the average TEQ concentrations of PCDD/Fs in serum were 10.51 pg TEQ/g lipid. Comparing to the congener patterns from ambient air and serum samples, we found that the differences in PCDD/Fs patterns between the ambient air and serum are observed, and the ratio of PCDFs/PCDDs appeared to be higher in ambient air than in the subjects’ serum. Principal component analysis showed the differences in PCDD/Fs patterns between the ambient air and serum are observed. However, PCDD/Fs patterns were almost similar in ambient air and in serum samples, respectively. We might conclude that ambient air exposure was not the most important contributor to PCDD/Fs levels in serum. This result suggests that the low impact of MSWI PCDD/Fs emission on human exposure. Therefore, another or more powerful source, such as dietary intake or the consumption of local food, should be further investigated at the same time.
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