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Excess Lifetime Cancer Risk Assessment of Volatile Organic Compounds Emitted from a Petrochemical Industrial Complex


Category: Air Pollution and Health Effects

Volume: 16 | Issue: 8 | Pages: 1954-1966
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2015.05.0372
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Ming-Jen Chen1, Ching-Ho Lin2, Chin-Hsing Lai2, Li-Hsin Cheng3, Ya-Hui Yang1, Li-Jen Huang1, Shu-Hsing Yeh3, Hui-Tsung Hsu 4

  • 1 Department of Occupational Safety and Hygiene, Fooyin University, Kaohsiung City 831, Taiwan
  • 2 Department of Environmental Engineering and Science, Fooyin University, Kaohsiung City 831, Taiwan
  • 3 Department of Leisure and Recreation Industry Management, Fooyin University, Kaohsiung City 831, Taiwan
  • 4 Department of Health Risk Management, China Medical University, Taichung City 404, Taiwan


A rational and feasible risk assessment procedure is developed in this study.
This study identifies the chemical species emitted from a petrochemical complex.
The estimated ELCR ranged from 9.3 × 10–5 to 1.7 × 10–4 for four residential sites.
Benzene, 1,3-butadiene, acrylonitrile, and vinyl chloride contribute 92.1% of ELCR.


A health risk assessment for the Lin-Yuan Petrochemical Industrial Complex (LYPIC) in southern Taiwan was conducted in this study. The main aims of the study were to develop an emission inventory for the 21 processing plants in the LYPIC, conduct hazard identification based on the emission inventory, perform an exposure assessment by applying air dispersion modeling to obtain the annual average concentration of hazardous air pollutants near the LYPIC, and estimate the lifetime risk of cancer associated with volatile organic compound exposure for residents living in the vicinity of the LYPIC. Comparing with the reported monitoring data from several petrochemical and refinery plants in the world, the estimated exposure concentrations in this study were within reasonable range. The results of cancer risk assessment showed that the cumulative excess lifetime cancer risk (ELCR) at four representative residential sites surrounding the LYPIC were in the range of 9.3 × 10–5 to 1.7 × 10–4. From a risk management perspective, in order to protect human health, greater emphasis on the reduction of emissions of benzene, 1,3-butadiene, acrylonitrile, and vinyl chloride is recommended. This study provides a feasible risk assessment procedure to identify the key carcinogenic chemicals emitted from a petrochemical industrial complex.


Toxic air pollutants Health effects/risks Risk assessment VOCs

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