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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(2), 204; doi:10.3390/ijerph13020204

Health Risk Assessment for Inhalation Exposure to Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether at Petrol Stations in Southern China

1
Department of Toxicology, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Tropical Disease Research, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 528000, China
2
Department of Occupational Health, Baoan Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Shenzhen 518100, China
3
Department of Environment and Health, South China Institute of Environmental Sciences, Ministry of Environmental Protection, Guangzhou 510655, China
4
Department of Toxicology, Shenzhen Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Shenzhen 518055, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 October 2015 / Accepted: 1 February 2016 / Published: 6 February 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Safety and Related Impacts on Health and the Environment)
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Abstract

Methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), a well known gasoline additive, is used in China nationwide to enhance the octane number of gasoline and reduce harmful exhaust emissions, yet little is known regarding the potential health risk associated with occupational exposure to MTBE in petrol stations. In this study, 97 petrol station attendants (PSAs) in southern China were recruited for an assessment of the health risk associated with inhalation exposure to MTBE. The personal exposure levels of MTBE were analyzed by Head Space Solid Phase Microextraction GC/MS, and the demographic characteristics of the PSAs were investigated. Cancer and non-cancer risks were calculated with the methods recommended by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The results showed that the exposure levels of MTBE in operating workers were much higher than among support staff (p < 0.01) and both were lower than 50 ppm (an occupational threshold limit value). The calculated cancer risks (CRs) at the investigated petrol stations was 0.170 to 0.240 per 106 for operating workers, and 0.026 to 0.049 per 106 for support staff, which are below the typical target range for risk management of 1 × 10−6 to 1 × 10−4; The hazard quotients (HQs) for all subjects were <1. In conclusion, our study indicates that the MTBE exposure of PSAs in southern China is in a low range which does not seem to be a significant health risk. View Full-Text
Keywords: MTBE; environmental pollution; inhalation exposure; toxicology; risk assessment MTBE; environmental pollution; inhalation exposure; toxicology; risk assessment
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hu, D.; Yang, J.; Liu, Y.; Zhang, W.; Peng, X.; Wei, Q.; Yuan, J.; Zhu, Z. Health Risk Assessment for Inhalation Exposure to Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether at Petrol Stations in Southern China. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 204.

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