Health Risk Assessment of Asphalt Workers’ Exposure to Benzo-α-pyrene

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Jamshid Rahimi, Kamaladin Abedi, Hossein Ebrahimi, Rasoul Yarahmadi, Iraj Alimohammadi, Shahram Vosoughi, Seted Hosein Tabatabaei


Benzo-α-pyrene is one of the most dangerous pollutants during working on asphalt, which is a carcinogenic. This study was aimed to perform health risk assessment of asphalt workers exposure to Benzo-α-pyrene using respiratory air monitoring data. The standard method of NIOSH 5515 (National Institutes of safety and health) was used for sampling and analyzing the Benzo-α-pyrene in the respiratory air. The sampling was done using polytetrafluoroethylene filter (PTFE) and XAD-2 sorbent tube (naphthylisocyanate) and the obtained samples were analyzed by Gas Chromatography with Flame Ionization Detection (GC-FID). The results of the study show that the highest and lowest concentrations belong to the functions of finisher assistance (0.058±0.011 mg m-3) and roller driver (0.042±0.015 mg/m3), respectively. The statistical test showed that the concentration of Benzo-α-pyrene in the respiratory air of different tasks is significantly different from each other (p <0.001). The results of the health risk assessment showed that all tasks are at a high risk level. In addition, comparison of the results of the concentration of Benzo-α-pyrene in the respiratory air and the assessment of health risk indicated that merely monitoring the concentration of the pollutants in the breathing air and comparing it with the allowable limits of exposure are not appropriate and reliable criteria to ensure the absence of disease or health problems.

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