POPs in a major conurbation in Turkey: ambient air concentrations, seasonal variation, inhalation and dermal exposure, and associated carcinogenic risks
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Semi-volatile organic compounds were monitored over a whole year, by collection of gas and particle phases every sixth day at a suburban site in Izmir, Turkey. Annual mean concentrations of 32 polychlorinated biphenyls (∑32PCBs) and 14 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (∑14PAHs) were 348 pg/m3 and 36 ng/m3, respectively, while it was 273 pg/m3 for endosulfan, the dominant compound among 23 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs). Monte Carlo simulation was applied to the USEPA exposure-risk models for the estimation of the population exposure and carcinogenic risk probability distributions for heating and non-heating periods. The estimated population risks associated with dermal contact and inhalation routes to ∑32PCBs, ∑14PAHs, and some of the targeted OCPs (α-hexachlorocyclohexane (α-HCH), β-hexachlorocyclohexane (β-HCH), heptachlor, heptachlor epoxide, α-chlordane (α-CHL), γ-chlordane (γ-CHL), and p,p′-dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (p,p′-DDT)) were in the ranges of 1.86 × 10−16–7.29 × 10−9 and 1.38 × 10−10–4.07 × 10−6, respectively. The inhalation 95th percentile risks for ∑32PCBs, ∑14PAHs, and OCPs were about 6, 3, and 4–7 orders of magnitude higher than those of dermal route, respectively. The 95th percentile inhalation risk for ∑32PCBs and OCPs in the non-heating period were 1.8- and 1.2–4.6 folds higher than in the heating period, respectively. In contrast, the 95th percentile risk levels for ∑14PAHs in the heating period were 4.3 times greater than that of non-heating period for inhalation, respectively. While risk levels associated with exposure to PCBs and OCPs did not exceed the acceptable level of 1 × 10−6, it was exceeded for 47 % of the population associated with inhalation of PAHs with a maximum value of about 4 × 10−6.