Human Health Risk Assessment: A Case Study Involving Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons Soil Contamination And Human Exposure
The present study investigates human health risks of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) contaminated
soils. The research was performed within a project co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. In the
framework of the study, the crude oil artificially contamination of soil was realized using soil from an area historically
polluted with heavy metals. This area is located Central Romania, close to a specific pollution source – non-ferrous industry.
Sixteen individual PAHs were identified in the 12 sampling points from the investigated area, but the attention was mainly
focused on ƩPAHs and Benzo(a)Pyrene (BaP) known as human carcinogens. The evaluated exposure pathways were
ingestion (soil ingestion and food) and dermal contact. According to the established exposure scenario, the results revealed a
risk factor of PAHs contaminated soil six times higher than the acceptable risk (10-6) suggested by the World Health
Organization. The most important exposure pathway revealed in the present work was food ingestion (particularly vegetable
products ingestion) which contributed 99 % of the total risks (exposure to PAHs from contaminated site via inhalation
pathway was considered negligible).
Keywords- BAP, Exposure Pathways, Pahs, Risk Assessment, Soil Pollution.