Original Article

Cancer Risk Assessment for Workers Exposed to Pollution Source, a Petrochemical Company, Iran


Background: Air pollution have led to severe problem of adverse health effect in the world. This study aimed to conduct the health risk assessment, cancer risk analysis, and non-cancer risk for exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) in petrochemical industry.

Methods: In this cross-sectional research, 123 samples were collected in the ambient air in Iran during winter 2016. For sampling and analysis of VOCs and H2S, 3 methods (numbers 1500, 1501, and 6013) presented by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) were used. For determination of risk assessment of chemical pollutants, semi-quantitative method presented by the Occupational Safety and Health Division, Singapore was used. Finally, for calculation of cancer risk analysis, Chronic Daily Intake (CDI) and calculation of non-cancer risk, Exposure Concentration (EC) were used.

Results: Average concentration of benzene (2.12±0.95) in breathing zone of workers were higher than the Threshold Limit Values-Time Weighted Average (TLV-TWA) (P<0.05). Among chemical substance, benzene had very high rank of risk in petrochemical industry. Rank of risk for H2S, toluene, and xylene present in the breathing zone of workers was low. The mean cancer risk for workers exposed to benzene was estimated 8.78×10-3, in other words, 8.7 cancer per 1000 i.e. higher than the acceptable standard of 10-6. In our study, non-cancer risk for BTX was higher than the acceptable standard of 1.

Conclusion: In particular, overall cancer and toxic risk can be associated with long term exposure to benzene.

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IssueVol 49 No 7 (2020) QRcode
SectionOriginal Article(s)
DOI https://doi.org/10.18502/ijph.v49i7.3587
Risk assessment Cancer risk analysis Volatile organic compounds Hydrogen sulfide Occupational Petrochemical industry

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HARATI B, SHAHTAHERI SJ, YOUSEFI HA, HARATI A, ASKARI A, ABDOLMOHAMADI N. Cancer Risk Assessment for Workers Exposed to Pollution Source, a Petrochemical Company, Iran. Iran J Public Health. 2020;49(7):1330-1338.