IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 1712: Evaluation of Health Hazard Due to Emission of Volatile Organic Compounds from Various Processing Units of Wastewater Treatment Plant (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
The paper describes an attempt at health risk assessment and odour concentration determination in the most important units of a wastewater treatment plant. The cancer risk (CR) and hazard index (HI) parameters in selected measurement locations were calculated based on the results of chromatographic analyses (GCxGC-TOF-MS) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) guidelines. No exceedance of the CR and HI acceptable levels was observed for identified and quantitatively determined compounds from the VOCs group. The acceptable level was exceeded for the description HI parameter. Following a classification of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), it was noticed that the highest hazard was connected to the presence of formaldehyde belonging to group 1—the compounds regarded as carcinogenic. Based on the olfactometric analyses, it was estimated that the highest odour concentration, 37.2 ou/m3, occurred at the solid waste composting piles. It was also revealed that an increase in odour concentration corresponded to a higher health risk for employees of the wastewater treatment plant, due to exposure to volatile odorous compounds. Accordingly, this method of odour measurement can be a fast indicator describing health risk level.