Next Article in Journal
Distribution and Health Risk Assessment of Trace Metals in Soils in the Golden Triangle of Southern Fujian Province, China
Next Article in Special Issue
Breast Cancer and Exposure to Organochlorines in the CECILE Study: Associations with Plasma Levels Measured at the Time of Diagnosis and Estimated during Adolescence
Previous Article in Journal
Environmental Tobacco Smoke and Cardiovascular Disease
Previous Article in Special Issue
Geographical Variation in Oral and Oropharynx Cancer Mortality in Brazil: A Bayesian Approach
Open AccessArticle

Risk Assessment of Benzene, Toluene, Ethyl Benzene, and Xylene Concentrations from the Combustion of Coal in a Controlled Laboratory Environment

1
Occupational Health Division, School of Public Health, University of the Witwatersrand, Parktown 2193, Johannesburg, South Africa
2
Department of Geography, Environmental Management and Energy Studies, University of Johannesburg, Aukland Park 2006, Johannesburg, South Africa
3
School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies, University of the Witwatersrand, Private Bag X3, WITS 2050, South Africa
4
National Institute for Occupational Health, National Health Laboratory Services, Braamfontein 2001, Johannesburg, South Africa
5
Haematology and Molecular Medicine, School of Pathology, University of the Witwatersrand, Parktown 2193, Johannesburg, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(1), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16010095
Received: 12 December 2018 / Revised: 21 December 2018 / Accepted: 21 December 2018 / Published: 31 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Risk and Cancer Epidemiology)
A D-grade type coal was burned under simulated domestic practices in a controlled laboratory set-up, in order to characterize the emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs); namely, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes (BTEX). Near-field concentrations were collected in a shack-like structure constructed using corrugated iron, simulating a traditional house found in informal settlements in South Africa (SA). Measurements were carried out using the Synspec Spectras GC955 real-time monitor over a three-hour burn cycle. The 3-h average concentrations (in µg/m3) of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, p-xylene, and o-xylene were 919 ± 44, 2051 ± 91, 3838 ±19, 4245 ± 41 and 3576 ± 49, respectively. The cancer risk for adult males and females in a typical SA household exposure scenario was found to be 1.1 and 1.2 respectively, which are 110- and 120-fold higher than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designated risk severity indicator (1 × 10−6). All four TEX (toluene, ethylbenzene, p-xylene and o-xylene) compounds recorded a Hazard Quotient (HQ) of less than 1, indicating a low risk of developing related non-carcinogenic health effects. The HQ for TEX ranged from 0.001 to 0.05, with toluene concentrations being the lowest, and ethylbenzene the highest. This study has demonstrated that domestic coal burning may be a significant source of BTEX emission exposure. View Full-Text
Keywords: coal; BTEX; hazardous air pollutants; domestic fuel burning coal; BTEX; hazardous air pollutants; domestic fuel burning
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Masekameni, M.D.; Moolla, R.; Gulumian, M.; Brouwer, D. Risk Assessment of Benzene, Toluene, Ethyl Benzene, and Xylene Concentrations from the Combustion of Coal in a Controlled Laboratory Environment. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 95.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop