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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(1), 595-610; doi:10.3390/ijerph120100595

Health Risk Assessment for Exposure to Benzene in Petroleum Refinery Environments

1
Griffith School of Engineering, Griffith University, Nathan Campus, Brisbane, QLD 4111, Australia
2
Griffith School of Environment, Griffith University, Nathan Campus, Brisbane, QLD 4111, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 27 October 2014 / Accepted: 6 January 2015 / Published: 12 January 2015
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Abstract

The health risk resulting from benzene exposure in petroleum refineries was calculated using data from the scientific literature from various countries throughout the world. The exposure data was collated into four scenarios from petroleum refinery environments and plotted as cumulative probability distributions (CPD) plots. Health risk was evaluated for each scenario using the Hazard Quotient (HQ) at 50% (CEXP50) and 95% (CEXP95) exposure levels. Benzene levels were estimated to pose a significant risk with HQ50 > 1 and HQ95 > 1 for workers exposed to benzene as base estimates for petroleum refinery workers (Scenario 1), petroleum refinery workers evaluated with personal samplers in Bulgarian refineries (Scenario 2B) and evaluated using air inside petroleum refineries in Bulgarian refineries (Scenario 3B). HQ50 < 1 were calculated for petroleum refinery workers with personal samplers in Italian refineries (Scenario 2A), air inside petroleum refineries (Scenario 3A) and air outside petroleum refineries (Scenario 4) in India and Taiwan indicating little possible adverse health effects. Also, HQ95 was < 1 for Scenario 4 however potential risk was evaluated for Scenarios 2A and 3A with HQ95 > 1. The excess Cancer risk (CR) for lifetime exposure to benzene for all the scenarios was evaluated using the Slope Factor and Overall Risk Probability (ORP) methods. The result suggests a potential cancer risk for exposure to benzene in all the scenarios. However, there is a higher cancer risk at 95% (CEXP95) for petroleum refinery workers (2B) with a CR of 48,000 per 106 and exposure to benzene in air inside petroleum refineries (3B) with a CR of 28,000 per 106. View Full-Text
Keywords: exposure assessment; health risk assessment; hazard quotient; cancer risk; overall risk probability; petroleum refinery exposure assessment; health risk assessment; hazard quotient; cancer risk; overall risk probability; petroleum refinery
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Edokpolo, B.; Yu, Q.J.; Connell, D. Health Risk Assessment for Exposure to Benzene in Petroleum Refinery Environments. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 595-610.

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