Human exposure to environmental pollutants after a tire landfill fire in Spain: Health risks

Martí Nadal, Joaquim Rovira, Jordi Díaz-Ferrero, Marta Schuhmacher, José L. Domingo

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Resum

In May 2016, a fire occurred in one of the largest landfills in Europe (Seseña, Toledo, Spain), where 70,000–90,000 tons of tires had been illegally accumulated for > 15 years. Because of the proximity of population nuclei and the duration of the episode (> 20 days), we conducted a preliminary human health risk assessment study just after the tire fire. Samples of air and soil were collected in 3 areas surrounding the landfill (El Quiñón, at only 500 m, and Seseña Nuevo and Seseña Viejo, both at 4 km), as well as in background sites. In addition, samples of crops (barley, wheat, cabbage and lettuce) were also obtained from local farmers. The concentrations of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and a number of trace elements (As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sb, Sn, Tl, and V) were analyzed in all the samples. The concentrations of all the target pollutants, excepting PAHs, were relatively similar at the different sampling zones, irrespective of the distance to the landfill. In turn, a significant increase of PAHs was noted near the tire landfill, with air levels up to 6-times higher than those found at 4 km (134 vs. 19.5–22.7 ng/m3). Similarly, PAH concentrations in lettuce were relatively higher than those typically found in monitoring programs of food safety. Because of the increase of airborne PAHs, cancer risks due to exposure to environmental pollutants for the population living at El Quiñón, near the landfill, were between 3- and 5-times higher than those estimated for the inhabitants of Seseña. After this preliminary study, further investigations, focused only on PAHs, but more extensive in terms of number of samples, should be conducted to assure that PAHs have been progressively degraded through time.

Idioma originalAnglès
Pàgines (de-a)37-44
Nombre de pàgines8
RevistaEnvironment International
Volum97
DOIs
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 2016

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