Health risk assessment of workers' exposure to organic compounds in a tire factory

Durmusoglu E., Aslan S., Can E., Bulut Z.

HUMAN AND ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT, vol.13, no.1, pp.209-222, 2007 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


This study focuses on a health risk assessment related to chemical exposure via inhalation for workers in a tire factory. Specifically, several volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) were measured in the four different points of the vulcanization unit. A chemical transport model was developed in order to better represent the workers' exposure to the chemicals. Then, a risk assessment methodology was employed to evaluate the potential adverse health effects of the chemicals according to their carcinogenicities. Concentrations measured near the milling machine and press in the vulcanization unit were generally higher than the respective occupational exposure limit values. The corresponding estimated cumulative cancer risks for the carcinogens at the each sampling point were higher than the designated acceptable risk level of 1 x 10(-4). With respect to non-carcinogenic risks, the hazard indexes, both individually and cumulatively, were lower than the specified level of one. The high cancer risk estimated in this study suggests that the VOCs and SVOCs exposure for workers in the vulcanization unit should not be neglected. The results obtained in this study are valuable to plant managers, government officials, and regulators in the risk evaluation process.