This study first measured concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in four selected workplace atmospheres, including the raw materials inlet, sintering grate, rough roll shredder and control room, and the outdoor environment of a sinter plant. Then, PAHs exposures and their resultant health-risks were assessed for sintering workers. We found that total PAH concentrations of the three selected sintering process areas were higher than that of the control room. The above results could be explained by the filtration effect of the air conditioning device installed inside the control room. PAH homologue distributions of the three selected sintering process areas were significantly different from that of the outdoor environment suggesting that PAHs found in the sintering workplace atmospheres were mainly contributed by process fugitives. Total PAH exposure levels were lower than the current permissible exposure limits, thus revealing that sintering workers are not a high risk group for long-term effects attributable to PAHs. Moreover, the lung cancer risks associated with the above PAH exposures were lower than the significant risk level defined by US Supreme Court further confirming that their exposures could be acceptable at this stage.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Waste Management and Disposal
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis