Risk assessment of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and formaldehyde in Korean public facilities: Derivation of health protection criteria levels

Ho Hyun Kim, Young Wook Lim, Dong Chun Shin, Jong Ryeul Sohn, Ji Yeon Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study suggests criteria to conduct a risk assessment of VOCs and formaldehyde in uncontrolled public facilities. Pollutants and facilities were selected based on two years of monitoring data and exposure scenarios in 573 uncontrolled public facilities, composed of 10 types of public institutions. With the exception of social welfare facilities, lifetime ECRs of formaldehyde and benzene in each facility were higher in employees than in users, except in social welfare facilities. In social welfare facilities, the risk of benzene for users (1×10-5) was higher than that of workers (1×10-6) because facility users live in the facility 24 hours per day, compared to workers who spend an average of 8 hours per day in the facility. The risk of benzene to workers in restaurants, academies, performance halls, internet café and pubs were estimated as high as 1×10-4 and the risk to workers in the theaters and karaoke bars were recorded as 1×10-5. Because lifetime ECRs of carcinogens exceeded 1×10-4 for workers and users in most facilities, risk management of formaldehyde and benzene in these facilities is necessary. Although HQs of toluene and xylenes did not exceed 1.0, their HQs did exceed 0.1 in some facilities, so they were evaluated as potentially harmful materials. Additionally, criteria for health protection in IAQ by facility are suggested at 60-100 μg/m3 for formaldehyde, 400-500 μg/m3 for TVOCs, 10-20 μg/m3 for benzene, 150-170 μg/m3 for toluene and 100 μg/m3 for xylenes, based on the survey on IAQ and HRA methodology. The excess rates of IAQ to health protection criteria in all facilities were 16% for formaldehyde, 8% for TVOCs and benzene, 9% for toulene, and 5% for xylenes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-133
Number of pages13
JournalAsian Journal of Atmospheric Environment
Volume5
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jun

Keywords

  • HCHO
  • Health protection criteria
  • Public facility
  • Risk assessment
  • VOCs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science

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