Air quality modeling and inhalation health risk assessment for a new generation coal-fired power plant in Central Italy.Sci Total Environ 2018; 644:884-898ST
An assessment of potential carcinogenic and toxic health outcomes related to atmospheric emissions from the new-generation coal fired power plant of Torrevaldaliga Nord, in Central Italy, has been conducted. A chemical-transport model was applied on the reference year 2010 in the area of the plant, in order to calculate airborne concentrations of a set of 17 emitted pollutants of health concern. Inhalation cancer risks and hazard quotients, for each pollutant and for each target organ impacted via the inhalation pathway, were calculated and mapped on the study domain for the overall ambient concentrations and for the sole contribution of the plant to airborne concentrations, allowing to assess the relative contribution of the power plant to the risk from all sources. Cancer risks, cumulated on all pollutants, resulted around 5 × 10-5 for the concentrations from all sources and below 3 × 10-7 for the plant contribution, mainly targeting the respiratory system. On each part of the study domain, the plant contributed for less than 6% to the overall cancer risk. Hazard quotients from all sources, cumulated on all pollutants, reached values of 2.5 for the respiratory and 1.5 for the cardiovascular systems. Hazard quotients of non-carcinogenic risks from the plant, cumulated on all pollutants, resulted below 0.03 for the respiratory system and 0.02 for the cardiovascular system. On each part of the study domain, the plant contributed for less than 5% to the respiratory and cardiovascular risks. Both cancer risks and hazard quotients related to the plant are far below international thresholds for human health protection, while the values from all sources require consideration. The proposed method provides an instrument for prospective health risk assessment of large industrial sources, with some limitations presented and discussed.