Monitoring Environmental Pollutants in the Vicinity of a Cement Plant: A Temporal Study

Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Reus, Catalonia, Spain.
Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology (Impact Factor: 1.96). 02/2011; 60(2):372-84. DOI: 10.1007/s00244-010-9628-9
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT From 2008 to 2009, we evaluated the environmental impact of a cement plant (Montcada i Reixac, Catalonia, Spain) that is located close to densely populated areas. The potential health risks for the population living in the neighborhood were also assessed. The levels of various heavy metals and the concentrations of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) were determined in soil, vegetation, and air samples collected at different directions and distances from the facility. Three 6-monthly consecutive campaigns were performed to establish temporal and seasonal trends. Multivariate statistical techniques, such as principal component analysis, were used. Human exposure to metals and PCDD/Fs, as well as the associated carcinogenic and noncarcinogenic risks, were also calculated. Environmental pollutant concentrations, especially those found in urban sites, were noted to be slightly higher than those recently reported around other cement plants in Catalonia. A seasonal pattern was observed, with higher values recorded during the colder sampling periods. Despite this, the carcinogenic and noncarcinogenic risks derived from human exposure to metals and PCDD/Fs were within the ranges considered acceptable by international regulatory organisms.

    • "samples of soil, vegetation, and air filters were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) (Perkin Elmer Elan 6000) using rhodium (Rh) as internal standard. Metal analytical methods were previously described (Rovira et al. 2011, 2014a). In brief, approximately 0.5 g of soil and vegetation samples were digested with 5 mL of nitric acid (65 % Suprapur; E. Merck, Darmstadt, Germany) in hermetic Teflon bombs by means of a Milestone Start D microwave digestion system until increasing 165 °C in 10 min and keeping this temperature for 20 min. "
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    ABSTRACT: The concentrations of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs), as well as the levels of a number of heavy metals, have been periodically measured in samples of soil and vegetation collected around a municipal solid waste incinerator (MSWI) in Tarragona (Catalonia, Spain) for approximately 20 years. Since 2007, the levels of the above-mentioned pollutants have also been determined in air samples by means of either active or passive samplers. In the present study, data regarding the environmental impact of the MSWI, in terms of PCDD/Fs and heavy metals, are updated. The temporal trends of these pollutants were evaluated by comparison with data from previous surveys. In the current survey (2013-2014), mean concentrations of PCDD/Fs in soil, vegetation, and air were 0.63 ng I-TEQ/g, 0.07 ng I-TEQ/g, and 10.1 fg WHO-TEQ/m(3), respectively. Decreases of 47 and 35 % of PCDD/Fs in soil and vegetation, respectively, were observed in relation to the background study (1999). Regarding air samples, a slight temporal decrease of the PCDD/F levels was also found with the remaining concentrations staying nearly constant through time. With respect to metals, notable fluctuations in the concentrations were noted, being dependent on each specific environmental monitor. Overall, the current exposure to PCDD/Fs and metals does not mean any additional health risks for the population living near the facility. In conclusion, the results of the present study show that the environmental impact of the Tarragona MSWI is not significant, in terms of PCDD/Fs and heavy metals, after >20 years of continuous operation.
    Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 06/2015; DOI:10.1007/s00244-015-0168-1 · 1.96 Impact Factor
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    • "Three major pathways are generally considered in human health risk assessment: ingestion, dermal contact, and respiration. This study focused on the ingestion and dermal contact pathways, and the following equations are applied in calculating the exposure through these two pathways (USEPA, 1989, 2004; Rovira et al., 2011; Iqbal et al., 2013): "
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    ABSTRACT: This study characterized the sediment quality of the severely contaminated Erjen River in Taiwan by using multivariate analysis methods-including factor analysis (FA), self-organizing maps (SOMs), and positive matrix factorization (PMF)-and health risk assessment. The SOMs classified the dataset with similar heavy-metal-contaminated sediment into five groups. FA extracted three major factors-traditional electroplating and metal-surface processing factor, nontraditional heavy-metal-industry factor, and natural geological factor-which accounted for 80.8% of the variance. The SOMs and FA revealed the heavy-metal-contaminated-sediment hotspots in the middle and upper reaches of the major tributary in the dry season. The hazardous index value for health risk via ingestion was 0.302. PMF further qualified the source apportionment, indicating that traditional electroplating and metal-surface-processing industries comprised 47% of the health risk posed by heavy-metal-contaminated sediment. Contaminants discharged from traditional electroplating and metal-surface-processing industries in the middle and upper reaches of the major tributary must be eliminated first to improve the sediment quality in Erjen River. The proposed assessment framework for heavy-metal-contaminated sediment can be applied to contaminated-sediment river sites in other regions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 01/2015; 113C:469-476. DOI:10.1016/j.ecoenv.2014.12.036 · 2.48 Impact Factor
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    • "PCA is a data compression technique that aims to explain most of the variance in the data, while transforming the set of correlated measured variables into a smaller set of new uncorrelated variables or principal components (PCs), attempting at the same time to preserve and emphasize the relevant relationships present in the original data (Boruvka et al., 2005). The main goal of this multivariate statistical technique is to extract useful information and provide an easier visualization of the relations among objects and variables determined in large or complex data sets (Rovira et al., 2011). The scatter plot of component scores on both principal components (PCs) showed that most breast milk samples were included in a main cluster with only a few outliers (Fig. 2). "
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    ABSTRACT: The concentrations of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were determined in breast milk from women living in the vicinity of a hazardous waste incinerator (HWI) in Catalonia, Spain. The results were compared with the levels obtained in previous surveys carried out in the same area in 1998 (baseline study), 2002 and 2007. The current total concentrations of 2,3,7,8-chlorinated PCDD/Fs in breast milk ranged from 18 to 126pgg(-1)fat (1.1-12.3pg WHO2005-TEQPCDD/F), while the total levels of PCBs ranged from 27 to 405pgg(-1)fat(0.7-5.3pg WHO2005-TEQPCB). In turn, PBDE concentrations (sum of 15 congeners) ranged 0.3-5.1gg(-1)fat, with a mean value of 1.3ngg(-1)fat. A general decrease in the concentrations for PCDD/Fs, both planar and total PCBs, and PBDEs in breast milk was observed. The levels of PCDD/Fs, PCBs, and PBDEs in milk of women living in urban zones were higher than those corresponding to industrial zones (41%, 26%, and 8%, respectively). For PCDD/Fs and PCBs, the current decreases are in accordance with the reduction in the dietary intake of these pollutants that we have also observed in recent studies carried out in the same area of study.
    Chemosphere 08/2013; 93(8). DOI:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2013.07.071 · 3.50 Impact Factor
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