Seasonal surveillance of airborne PCDD/Fs, PCBs and PCNs using passive samplers to assess human health risks.Sci Total Environ. 2014 Jan 01; 466-467:733-40.ST
This study aimed at determining the air concentrations of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCNs) near a municipal solid waste incinerator (MSWI) in Tarragona (Catalonia, Spain) by means of passive air sampling. Seasonal trends in airborne levels were also assessed by comparing the results of 6-month surveys conducted between spring of 2010 and autumn of 2011. These data were used to estimate exposure for the population living nearby and to evaluate the non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic risks associated to inhalation of those persistent organic pollutants (POPs). No seasonal differences were noted in POP concentrations among the sampling campaigns. The highest levels of PCDD/Fs were found in the 3rd campaign, while significantly lower levels of PCNs were found in the 4th survey. The concentrations of PCDD/F and PCB congeners, as well as those of PCN homologues, did not change significantly with time, which indicates that the MSWI does not have an important influence on the surrounding environment. The levels of POPs near the facility are at the lower part of the range, when compared with data from the scientific literature. Consequently, the current levels of POPs in ambient air around the MSWI are associated to a low human exposure to PCDD/Fs, PCBs and PCNs, which means a lack of additional health risks for the local population. In addition, passive samplers have been confirmed to be a good tool for local environmental monitoring, as well as a good method to study seasonal trends in POP concentrations in air.