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      Human Health Assessment of Sixteen Priority Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Contaminated Soils of Northwestern Algeria


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          Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are ubiquitous environmental organic contaminants generated by incomplete combustion of organic materials that are widely distributed in soils.


          This study represents the first attempt to examine the health toxicity of 16 detected PAHs in contaminated soil, via different exposure pathways to populations in northwestern Algeria.


          The toxicity equivalency quotients (TEQ) of PAHs were evaluated. The carcinogenic risk assessment of incremental lifetime cancer risk (ILCR) from ingestion, inhalation, and dermal exposure pathways to each PAH in soil are described.


          Incremental lifetime cancer risk values were in the upper limit of the tolerable range (10 −6–10 −4) for adults and children. The total cancer risk of PAH-contaminated soils for children, adolescents and adults was 2.48×10 −5, 2.04×10 −5 and 3.12×10 −5mg.kg −1d −1, respectively. The highest potential cancer risks were identified for adults and children, with adolescents having the lowest risks. Across exposure pathways, the dermal contact and ingestion pathways had the greatest contributions to the carcinogenic risk of human exposure to PAHs.


          Further research and guidelines are needed for risk assessments of PAHs in agricultural, residential/urban, and industrial areas, and further risk assessments should include risks posed by exposure through air.

          Competing Interests.

          The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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          Most cited references 64

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          A review on polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons: Source, environmental impact, effect on human health and remediation

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            Health risk assessment on human exposed to environmental polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons pollution sources.

            To assess how the human exposure to environmental carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) pollution sources generated from industrial, traffic and rural settings, we present a probabilistic risk model, appraised with reported empirical data. A probabilistic risk assessment framework is integrated with the potency equivalence factors (PEFs), age group-specific occupancy probability and the incremental lifetime cancer risk (ILCR) approaches to quantitatively estimate the exposure risk for three age groups of adults, children, and infants. The benzo[a]pyrene equivalents based PAH concentrations in rural, traffic, and industrial areas associated with age group-specific occupancy probability at different environmental settings are used to calculate daily exposure level through inhalation and dermal contact pathways. Risk analysis indicates that the inhalation-ILCR and dermal contact-ILCR values for adults follow a lognormal distribution with geometric mean 1.04x10(-4) and 3.85x10(-5) and geometric standard deviation 2.10 and 2.75, respectively, indicating high potential cancer risk; whereas for the infants the risk values are less than 10(-6), indicating no significant cancer risk. Sensitivity analysis indicates that the input variables of cancer slope factor and daily inhalation exposure level have the greater impact than that of body weight on the inhalation-ILCR; whereas for the dermal-ILCR, particle-bound PAH-to-skin adherence factor and daily dermal exposure level have the significant influence than that of body weight.
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              The Source of U.S. EPA's Sixteen PAH Priority Pollutants


                Author and article information

                J Health Pollut
                J Health Pollut
                Journal of Health & Pollution
                Black Smith Institute
                September 2021
                17 August 2021
                : 11
                : 31
                [1 ] Department of Sciences and Technology, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Ibn-Khaldoun University of Tiaret, Algeria.
                [2 ] Synthesis and Catalysis Laboratory, Ibn-Khaldoun University of Tiaret, Algeria.
                [3 ] Laboratory of Functional Organic Analysis, Faculty of Chemistry, Houari Boumediene University of Sciences and Technology, Algiers, Algeria.
                [4 ] Laboratory of Macromolecular Physical Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University Oran 1 Ahmed Ben Bella, Algeria
                [5 ] Scientific and Technical Research Centre on Arid Regions, Campus Universitaire El Alia Nord, Biskra, Algeria
                Author notes
                Corresponding author: Ahmed Halfadji, ahmedhalfadji@ 123456gmail.com
                © Pure Earth 2021

                This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).

                Page count
                Pages: 13


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