Carcinogenic and Health Risk Assessment of Respiratory Exposure to BTEX Compounds in Gasoline Refueling Stations in Karaj – Iran

Document Type : Original Research Paper


Department of Environment, Faculty of Agriculture and Basic Sciences, Roudehen Branch, Islamic Azad University, Roudehen, Iran


BTEX is one of the common compounds in the breathing air of gas station workers, which can cause high carcinogenic and health risks. The present study was conducted to assess the carcinogenic and health risks of occupational exposure to BTEX compounds in gasoline fuel distribution stations in Karaj. This descriptive and cross-sectional study was conducted to assess the carcinogenic and health risks caused by exposure to BTEX compounds in 2021 during the summer and winter in six fuel distribution stations in Karaj. Occupational exposure to BTEX was measured according to the NIOSH 1501 method. Cancer and non-cancer risk assessment were performed according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) method. Data were analyzed in SPSS software version 26. The average occupational exposure to benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, and xylene during a work shift among all participants in summer and winter were 83.33 - 89.33, 202 - 210.66, 126.55 - 136.83, and 168.81 - 174.83 µg.m-3, respectively. The highest concentration of BTEX compounds was observed in Gas station in the center of the city. The mean carcinogenic risk value of benzene and ethylbenzene were 139×10-2 and 27×10-2, respectively. The highest carcinogenic risk value due to exposure to benzene and ethyl benzene was observed in Gas station in the center of the city. The mean non-carcinogenic and health risks of occupational exposure to benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, and xylene were 173.79, 14.19, 3.61, and 12.87, respectively.  
The findings demonstrated the values of carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic risk in the majority of participants were within the definitive and unacceptable risk levels. Therefore, corrective measures are necessary to protect the employees from the non-cancer and cancer risks. 


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