Atmospheric particulate matter (PM) pollution levels and human health risks resulting from exposure to non-anthropogenic pollution sources, such as coal mine-fires, are serious global issues. The toxicity of PM10-bound metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) was assessed according to their non-cancer and cancer risks (CRs) at the mine-fire and in an adjacent city area. Health risks were estimated for inhalation, ingestion, and dermal absorption pathways. The non-cancer risks, presented in terms of the hazard index (HI) and hazard quotient (HQ), were found to be significant (>1) at all locations, except in the mining (for HQ-dermal) and city background area (for HQ-ingestion and HQ-dermal) in children and adults, respectively. The total CR was estimated to be highest at the city nearby the mine-fire area (3.31E-02 and 1.93E-02) followed by the mine-fire area (2.66E-02 and 1.71E-02) for children and adults, respectively. The total CR and CR via individual exposure routes were estimated to be in the high risk (10−3 ≤ CR < 10−1) category at the mine-fire site and adjacent city area. For all exposures, CR levels were calculated to be higher than the acceptable range (from 1.00E-06 to 1.00E-04), except for the CR-inhalation level at the A5 location. Among all elements, Cd and BaPequ were more significant for the CR at the coal mine-fire and the adjacent city area. Hence, this study concluded that non-anthropogenic sources, such as coal mine-fires, could be part for the significant health risk (carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic) levels in the study area. Coal-mine-fire was identified as a significant contributor of carcinogens in a critically polluted coal mining area.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis