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Health Risk from Exposure to PCDD/Fs from a Waelz Plant in Central Taiwan

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Volume: 14 | Issue: 4 | Pages: 1310-1319
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2013.04.0107
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Yen-An Tsai1, I-Fang Mao2, Kai Hsien Chi3, Moo Been Chang3, Chun-Cheng Feng4, Chih-Hung Lin4, Pao Chen Hung3, Mei Lien Chen 1

  • 1 Institute of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, National Yang Ming University, No. 155, Sec.2, Linong St., Taipei, 11221, Taiwan
  • 2 Department of Occupational Safety and Health, Chung Shan Medical University, No. 110, Sec.1, Jianguo N. Rd., Taichung City 40201, Taiwan
  • 3 Graduate Institute of Environmental Engineering, National Central University, No. 300, Jhongda Rd., Jhongli City, Taoyuan County 32001, Taiwan
  • 4 Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Council of Labor Affairs, Executive Yuan, No. 99, Lane 407, Hengke Rd., Sijhih District, New Taipei City 22143, Taiwan


This study combined ambient air sampling and biomonitoring data to determine the PCDD/Fs exposure levels and health risk for residents near a Waelz plant. In total, 457 adults completed questionnaires and 48 subjects also gave blood samples. We used the USEPA multimedia model to estimate lifetime exposure and cancer risk. Analytical results show that average atmospheric PCDD/Fs concentrations were 149–285 fg I-TEQ/m3 and deposition flux was 0.57–116 pg I-TEQ/m2-d. The serum PCDD/Fs concentrations were from 5.30–50.91 WHO1998-TEQ with an average of 18.73 ± 10.05 pg/g lipid. The estimated lifetime average daily doses (LADDs) were 1.20 and 1.09 pg WHO1998-TEQ/kg/d, which are below the tolerable daily intake (TDI) range of 1–4 pg TEQ/kg bw (World Health Organization). However, the concentration was higher than concentrations for the general population in Taiwan. The USEPA multimedia model showed that the median of lifetime exposure to PCDD/Fs was 1.90 × 10–2 pg/kg bw/day and 3.19 × 10–2 pg/kg bw/day for Area U (upwind site) and Area D (downwind site), respectively. The carcinogenic risk was 2.96 × 10–6 (95th percentile = 1.61 × 10–5), and 4.97 × 10–6 (95th percentile = 2.59 × 10–5) for Area U and Area D, respectively. In summary, residents near the plant had a higher body burden of PCDD/Fs than the general population in Taiwan. The health risk from exposure, including cancer mortality caused by chronic exposure to PCDD/Fs, needs to be clarified further.


PCDD/Fs Health risk assessment Waelz plant Biomonitoring Estimated lifetime average daily doses (LADD)

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