Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 7

Health Risk Assessment Related Abstracts

7 Health Risk Assessment of Trihalogenmethanes in Drinking Water

Authors: Frantisek Bozek, Lenka Jesonkova


Trihalogenmethanes (THMs) are disinfection byproducts with non-carcinogenic and genotoxic effects. The contamination of 6 sites close to the water treatment plant has been monitored in second largest city of the Czech Republic. Health risk assessment including both non-carcinogenic and genotoxic risk for long term exposition was realized using the critical concentrations. Concentrations of trihalogenmethanes met national standards in all samples. Risk assessment proved that health risks from trihalogenmethanes are acceptable on each site.

Keywords: Water pollution, drinking water, Health Risk Assessment, trihalogenmethanes

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6 Levels of Selected Heavy Metals in Varieties of Vegetable oils Consumed in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Health Risk Assessment of Local Population

Authors: Muhammad Waqar Ashraf


Selected heavy metals, namely Cu, Zn, Fe, Mn, Cd, Pb, and As, in seven popular varieties of edible vegetable oils collected from Saudi Arabia, were determined by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry (GF-AAS) using microwave digestion. The accuracy of procedure was confirmed by certified reference materials (NIST 1577b). The concentrations for copper, zinc, iron, manganese, lead and arsenic were observed in the range of 0.035 - 0.286, 0.955 - 3.10, 17.3 - 57.8, 0.178 - 0.586, 0.011 - 0.017 and 0.011 - 0.018 µg/g, respectively. Cadmium was found to be in the range of 2.36 - 6.34 ng/g. The results are compared internationally and with standards laid down by world health agencies. A risk assessment study has been carried out to assess exposure to these metals via consumption of vegetable oils. A comparison has been made with safety intake levels for these heavy metals recommended by Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (IOM), US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA). The results indicated that the dietary intakes of the selected heavy metals from daily consumption of 25 g of edible vegetable oils for a 70 kg individual should pose no significant health risk to local population.

Keywords: Heavy Metals, Contamination, Health Risk Assessment, vegetable oils

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5 Development of Risk-Based Ambient Air Quality Standards in the Russian Federation on the Basis of Risk Assessment Procedures Harmonized with International Approaches

Authors: Nina V. Zaitseva, Pavel Z. Shur, Nina G. Atiskova


Nowadays harmonization of sanitary and hygienic standards of environmental quality with international standards is crucial part of integration of Russia into the international community. Harmonization of Russian and international ambient air quality standards may be realized by risk-based standards development. In this paper approaches to risk-based standards development and examples of these approaches implementation are presented.

Keywords: Health Risk Assessment, Nickel, harmonization, evolutionary modelling, benchmark level, manganese

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4 Advances in Health Risk Assessment of Mycotoxins in Africa

Authors: Wilfred A. Abiaa, Chibundu N. Ezekiel, Benedikt Warth, Michael Sulyok, Paul C. Turner, Rudolf Krska, Paul F. Moundipa


Mycotoxins are a wide range of toxic secondary metabolites of fungi that contaminate various food commodities worldwide especially in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Such contamination seriously compromises food safety and quality posing a serious problem for human health as well as to trade and the economy. Their concentrations depend on various factors, such as the commodity itself, climatic conditions, storage conditions, seasonal variances, and processing methods. When humans consume foods contaminated by mycotoxins, they exert toxic effects to their health through various modes of actions. Rural populations in sub-Saharan Africa, are exposed to dietary mycotoxins, but it is supposed that exposure levels and health risks associated with mycotoxins between SSA countries may vary. Dietary exposures and health risk assessment studies have been limited by lack of equipment for the proper assessment of the associated health implications on consumer populations when they eat contaminated agricultural products. As such, mycotoxin research is premature in several SSA nations with product evaluation for mycotoxin loads below/above legislative limits being inadequate. Few nations have health risk assessment reports mainly based on direct quantification of the toxins in foods ('external exposure') and linking food levels with data from food frequency questionnaires. Nonetheless, the assessment of the exposure and health risk to mycotoxins requires more than the traditional approaches. Only a fraction of the mycotoxins in contaminated foods reaches the blood stream and exert toxicity ('internal exposure'). Also, internal exposure is usually smaller than external exposure thus dependence on external exposure alone may induce confounders in risk assessment. Some studies from SSA earlier focused on biomarker analysis mainly on aflatoxins while a few recent studies have concentrated on the multi-biomarker analysis of exposures in urine providing probable associations between observed disease occurrences and dietary mycotoxins levels. As a result, new techniques that could assess the levels of exposures directly in body tissue or fluid, and possibly link them to the disease state of individuals became urgent.

Keywords: Biomarkers, Mycotoxins, Exposure Assessment, Health Risk Assessment, Sub-Saharan Africa

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3 Long-Term Exposure, Health Risk, and Loss of Quality-Adjusted Life Expectancy Assessments for Vinyl Chloride Monomer Workers

Authors: Perng-Jy Tsai, Tzu-Ting Hu, Jung-Der Wang, Ming-Yeng Lin, Jin-Luh Chen


The vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) has been classified as group 1 (human) carcinogen by the IARC. Workers exposed to VCM are known associated with the development of the liver cancer and hence might cause economical and health losses. Particularly, for those work for the petrochemical industry have been seriously concerned in the environmental and occupational health field. Considering assessing workers’ health risks and their resultant economical and health losses requires the establishment of long-term VCM exposure data for any similar exposure group (SEG) of interest, the development of suitable technologies has become an urgent and important issue. In the present study, VCM exposures for petrochemical industry workers were determined firstly based on the database of the 'Workplace Environmental Monitoring Information Systems (WEMIS)' provided by Taiwan OSHA. Considering the existence of miss data, the reconstruction of historical exposure techniques were then used for completing the long-term exposure data for SEGs with routine operations. For SEGs with non-routine operations, exposure modeling techniques, together with their time/activity records, were adopted for determining their long-term exposure concentrations. The Bayesian decision analysis (BDA) was adopted for conducting exposure and health risk assessments for any given SEG in the petrochemical industry. The resultant excessive cancer risk was then used to determine the corresponding loss of quality-adjusted life expectancy (QALE). Results show that low average concentrations can be found for SEGs with routine operations (e.g., VCM rectification 0.0973 ppm, polymerization 0.306 ppm, reaction tank 0.33 ppm, VCM recovery 1.4 ppm, control room 0.14 ppm, VCM storage tanks 0.095 ppm and wastewater treatment 0.390 ppm), and the above values were much lower than that of the permissible exposure limit (PEL; 3 ppm) of VCM promulgated in Taiwan. For non-routine workers, though their high exposure concentrations, their low exposure time and frequencies result in low corresponding health risks. Through the consideration of exposure assessment results, health risk assessment results, and QALE results simultaneously, it is concluded that the proposed method was useful for prioritizing SEGs for conducting exposure abatement measurements. Particularly, the obtained QALE results further indicate the importance of reducing workers’ VCM exposures, though their exposures were low as in comparison with the PEL and the acceptable health risk.

Keywords: Exposure Assessment, Health Risk Assessment, petrochemical industry, quality-adjusted life years, vinyl chloride monomer

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2 Exposure Assessment for Worker Exposed to Heavy Metals during Road Marking Operations

Authors: Ying-Fang Wang, Perng-Jy Tsai, Yin-Hsuan Wu, Shun-Hui Chung


The present study was conducted to characterize exposure concentrations, concentrations deposited on the different respiratory regions, and resultant health risks associated with heavy metal exposures for road marking workers. Road marking workers of three similar exposure groups (SEGs) were selected, including the paint pouring worker, marking worker, and preparing worker. Personal exposure samples were collected using an inhalable dust sampler (IOM), and the involved particle size distribution samples were estimated using an eight-stage Marple personal cascade impactor during five working days. In total, 25 IOM samples and 20 Marple samples were collected. All collected samples were analyzed for their heavy metal contents using the ICP/MS. The resultant heavy metal particle size distributions were also used to estimate the fractions of particle deposited on the head airways (Chead), tracheobronchial (Cthorac) and alveolar regions (Cresp) of the exposed workers. In addition, Pb and Cr were selected to estimate the incremental cancer risk, and Zn, Ti, and Mo were selected to estimate the corresponding non-cancer risk in the present study. Results show that three heavy metals, including Pb, Cr, and Ti, were found with the highest concentrations for the SEG of the paint pouring worker (=0.585±2.98, 0.307±1.71, 0.902±2.99 μg/m³, respectively). For the fraction of heavy metal particle deposited on the respiratory tract, both alveolar and head regions were found with the highest values (=23-43% and 39-61%, respectively). For both SEGs of the paint pouring and marking, 51% of Cr, 59-61% of Zn, and 48-51% of Ti were found to be deposited on the alveolar region, and 41-43% of Pb was deposited on the head region. Finally, the incremental cancer risk for the SEGs of the paint pouring, marking, and preparing were found as 1.08×10⁻⁵, 2.78×10⁻⁶, and 2.20×10⁻⁶, respectively. In addition, the estimated non-cancer risk for the above three SEGs was found to be consistently less than unity. In conclusion, though the estimated non-cancer risk was less than unity, all resultant incremental cancer risk was greater than 10⁻⁶ indicating the abatement of workers’ exposure is necessary. It is suggested that strategies, including placing on the molten kettle, substitution the currently used paints for less heavy metal containing paints, and wearing fume protecting personal protective equipment can be considered in the future from reducing the worker’s exposure aspect.

Keywords: Health Risk Assessment, heavy metal, respiratory track deposition, road marking

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1 Health Risk Assessment of Exposing to Benzene in Office Building around a Chemical Industry Based on Numerical Simulation

Authors: Mohammadreza Ashouri, Majid Bayatian


Releasing hazardous chemicals is one of the major problems for office buildings in the chemical industry and, therefore, environmental risks are inherent to these environments. The adverse health effects of the airborne concentration of benzene have been a matter of significant concern, especially in oil refineries. The chronic and acute adverse health effects caused by benzene exposure have attracted wide attention. Acute exposure to benzene through inhalation could cause headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, and irritation of the skin. Chronic exposures have reported causing aplastic anemia and leukemia at the occupational settings. Association between chronic occupational exposure to benzene and the development of aplastic anemia and leukemia were documented by several epidemiological studies. Numerous research works have investigated benzene emissions and determined benzene concentration at different locations of the refinery plant and stated considerable health risks. The high cost of industrial control measures requires justification through lifetime health risk assessment of exposed workers and the public. In the present study, a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model has been proposed to assess the exposure risk of office building around a refinery due to its release of benzene. For simulation, GAMBIT, FLUENT, and CFD Post software were used as pre-processor, processor, and post-processor, and the model was validated based on comparison with experimental results of benzene concentration and wind speed. Model validation results showed that the model is highly validated, and this model can be used for health risk assessment. The simulation and risk assessment results showed that benzene could be dispersion to an office building nearby, and the exposure risk has been unacceptable. According to the results of this study, a validated CFD model, could be very useful for decision-makers for control measures and possibly support them for emergency planning of probable accidents. Also, this model can be used to assess exposure to various types of accidents as well as other pollutants such as toluene, xylene, and ethylbenzene in different atmospheric conditions.

Keywords: CFD, Numerical Simulation, Benzene, Health Risk Assessment, office building

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