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HUMAN HEALTH RISK ASSESSMENT OF CONTAMINATED SOILS WITH CARGINOGEN POLLUTANTS

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Author(s): Cristina Dumitrescu | Diana Cocârţă | Ana - Maria Reşetar - Deac | Adrian Badea | Monica Biolan

Journal: Present Environment and Sustainable Development
ISSN 1843-5971

Volume: 6;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 415;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: carcinogenetic risk | contaminated soils | risk assessment | organic pollutants | inorganic pollutants

ABSTRACT
Human health risk assessment of contaminated soils with carcinogenic pollutants is a multidisciplinary and participative procedure. For this reason, the opportunities of involving the beneficiaries and theentire community in considering human health for environmental assessment have to be improved. The present paper shows how to use the risk assessment as a method for investigation and evaluation of contaminated soils. The case study used to illustrate the functionality of the risk assessment model is related to an areacontaminated mainly with heavy metals. The area is located in CentralRomania, close to a specific pollution source–non-ferrous industry.Twenty four soil samples tak en from two depth layers of: 0–0.2 m,respectively 0.2-0.4 m from an area of 4.000 m2 were analyzed.Results of the chemical analysis indicated relatively high concentrations of As, Be, Cd, Cr VI, and Pb, which is matching with the existing pollution levels. Also, in the soil a pollution of organic nature, respectively contamination with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) was identified, its concentration exceeding the intervention threshold established by the Romanian regulation for sensitive uses. Results of the risk assessment revealed a risk factor of contaminated soils of 10-4, with two orders of magnitude above the acceptable risk of 10-6 suggested by the World Health Organization (WHO). Moreover, the contribution of the categories of pollutants(organic/inorganic) to the estimated risk for each exposure pathwayconsidered was illustrated. Therefore, the paper, through the case study presented, represents an example of an approach that should be considered by the decision-making factors in approving cert ain projects, but also by environmental specialists when performing the health risk assessment in relation to certain objectives. This aspect is especially important as the experience of those performing the human health risk assessments at the planning stage of programs/projects is insufficient and the collaboration with experts from the health sector is uncommon.
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