Characteristics and Health Risk of BTEX at Selected Different Microenvironments in an Industrial-Urban Area, Iran

Document Type: Original Research Paper


Department of Environment, Faculty of Natural Resources and Marine Science, Tarbiat Modares University, P.O. Box: 46414-356, Mazandaran, Iran


The present study monitors BTEX concentration in outdoor and indoor air of eight different microenvironments during summer 2017 and winter 2018 at Asaloyeh city, Iran's energy capital. It samples BTEX compounds by charcoal tubes, analyzing the samples by means of a gas chromatograph with a flame ionization detector. According to the obtained results, outdoor concentrations of BTEX have been higher than the indoor ones, for both seasons, with the highest outdoor and indoor BTEX being 21.70 and 18.59 μg/m3, respectively. Toluene has been the most abundant substance, among the investigated BTEX in all sampling points. Based on the MIR scale, m, p-xylene is the most dominant contributor to ozone formation potential among BTEX species. Indoor to outdoor (I/O) ratios of BTEX compounds range from 0.53 to 0.88 and 0.41 to 0.77 in winter and summer, respectively. The cumulative hazard index (HI) is within an acceptable range. The LTCR value of benzene concentration, obtained, exceeds the value of 1.0E-06, recommended by USEPA. Sensitivity analysis shows that benzene concentration, exposure duration, and inhalation rate have a greater impact on health risk assessment.


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