Pollution characteristics and health risk assessment of phthalate esters in urban soil in the typical semi-arid city of Xi'an, Northwest China.Chemosphere. 2018 Jan; 191:467-476.C
A total of 62 urban soil samples were collected in the city of Xi'an in Northwest China, and analyzed for six U.S. Environmental Protection Agency priority phthalate esters (PAEs). Unlike earlier studies on PAEs in agricultural soil as well as urban soil in humid climates, this paper for the first time comprehensively assessed pollution characteristics and health risks of human exposure to PAEs in urban soil in a typical semi-arid climate. The total concentrations of the six PAEs (Σ6PAEs) in the urban soil varied between 193.0 and 19146.4 μg kg-1 with a mean of 1369.3 μg kg-1. The PAEs were dominated by di-n-butyl phthalate and di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate. Magnetic susceptibility and soil texture were controlling factors influencing the concentrations of PAEs in the urban soil. The concentrations of benzyl butyl phthalate, di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, and Σ6PAEs increased from the first to third ring roads, while the concentrations of di-n-octyl phthalate decreased. Relatively higher levels of PAEs were observed in industrial, traffic, and residential areas. The PAEs in the urban soil originated mainly from the application of plasticizers or additives, use of cosmetics and personal care products, emissions of construction materials and home furnishings, industrial processes, and atmospheric deposition. The concentrations of some PAEs in the urban soil exceeded soil allowable concentrations and environmental risk levels. The non-cancer and carcinogenic risks of human exposure to the PAEs were relatively low.