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: 1.9). 02/2011; 60(2):372-84. DOI: 10.1007/s00244-010-9628-9
Source: PubMed


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.

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    • "value . For the three PM fractions , notable seasonal differences could be observed in home concentrations . These differences were directly related to the measured outdoor concentrations , higher in winter due to a higher contribution from traffic and heating systems , and the presence of anticyclonic conditions in the area ( Pey et al . , 2010 ; Rovira et al . , 2011 ) ( PM 10 - 2 . 5 : 19 μg / m 3 , PM 2 . 5 - 1 : 1 μg / m 3 , and PM 1 : 31 μg / m 3 ) , with the exception of PM 2 . 5 - 1 , which was larger in summer ( PM 10 - 2 . 5 : 1 μg / m 3 , PM 2 . 5 - 1 : 7 μg / m 3 , and PM 1 : 13 μg / m 3 ) ( Sánchez - Soberón et al . , 2015 ) . Air exchange rate , which accounts for the airflows that can o"
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper we studied the exposure to three size fractions of outdoor particulate matter (PM10, PM2.5, and PM1) collected in an area influenced by a cement plant. For that purpose, three groups of population were evaluated (children, adults and retired) in two seasons (summer and winter). Outdoor measured PM concentrations, as well as physiological parameters and activity patterns of the three groups of population were used as input data in two different models. The first one was an indoor air quality model, used to elucidate indoor PM concentrations in different microenvironments. The second one was a dosimetry model, used to evaluate the internal exposure and the distribution of the different PM fractions in the respiratory tract. Results from the indoor air quality model showed that special attention must be paid to the finest particles, since they penetrate indoors in a greater degree. Highest pulmonary doses for the three PM sizes were reported for retired people, being this a result of the high amount of time in outdoor environments exercising lightly. For children, the exposure was mainly influenced by the time they also spend outdoors, but in this case due to heavy intensity activities. It was noticed that deposition of fine particles was more significant in the pulmonary regions of children and retired people in comparison with adults, which has implications in the expected adverse health effects for those vulnerable groups of population.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Environmental Research
    • "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.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
    • "as the characteristics of each facility. In a cement plant located in Montcada i Reixac (Barcelona, Spain), three campaigns were carried out, one every 6 months, when the factory used traditional fuel for energy requirements (Rovira et al. 2011a). The area where the cement plant is located includes many industries and two highways with heavy traffic. "
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    ABSTRACT: In this study, environmental data concerning the potential impact of a cement plant were updated, 10 years after a previous monitoring study. In 2011 and 2012, samples of soil, vegetation, and air were collected in the vicinity of a cement plant located in Santa Margarida i els Monjos (Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain). The concentrations of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) and those of a number of metals (As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sb, Sn, Tl, V, and Zn) were determined. The results were compared with data from two previous sampling campaigns, performed in 2000 and 2001. Vanadium was the only element presenting a significant increase in the three monitors. In turn, a significant decrease of PCDD/Fs was noted in vegetation, from 0.2 to 0.1 ng WHO-TEQ/kg. The Hazard Quotient (HQ) of exposure to all pollutants was below the safety limit, while cancer risk associated with the exposure to metals and PCDD/Fs was within the range considered as assumable (10−6–10−4). Despite the long period of time elapsed between campaigns (10 years) and the use of alternative fuels, the impact of the cement plant seems to be low, based on the emissions of the contaminants here evaluated.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Human and Ecological Risk Assessment
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