This study aimed to evaluate serum polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) levels in electric-arc-furnace workers according to their corresponding occupational exposure. In addition, the ambient PCDD/Fs of the work environment were measured to provide additional support for the exposure and accumulation inside the electric arc furnace. The ambient PCDD/F concentrations inside the electric arc furnace were 1.557-1.917 pg-TEQ/N m3, 5-24 folds higher than those outside (0.080-0.385 pg-TEQ/N m3). In addition, higher average serum levels were measured in the workers with high occupational dioxin exposure (24.0 pg WHO-TEQ/g lipid) than in those with lower occupational dioxin exposure (13.8 pg WHO-TEQ/g lipid). Higher PCDFs/PCDDs ratios were found in serum samples from high-exposure groups than in low-exposure groups. The higher ratio of PCDFs/PCDDs was also found in ambient samples consistent with other metallurgical processes reported previously. Our results suggest that PCDD/Fs exposure exits in the smelting process of electric arc furnace, and the occupational hygiene should be taken more seriously concern in that workplace.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis