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Exposure and Risk Assessments of Multimedia of Arsenic in the Environment

  • Journal of Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Abbr : J EIA
  • 2019, 28(2), pp.152-168
  • Publisher : Korean Society Of Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Research Area : Engineering > Environmental Engineering
  • Published : April 30, 2019

Ki_Tae Sim 1 김동훈 1 Jae-woo Lee 1 Chae-Hong Lee 1 SoYeon Park 1 Kwang-Seol Seok 2 Young-Hee Kim 2

1국립환경과학원
2국립환경과학원 화학물질연구과

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The element arsenic, which is abundant in the Earth’s crust, is used for various industrial purposes including materials for disease treatment and household goods. Various human activities, such as the disposal of soil waste, metal mining and smelting, and combustion of fossil fuels, have caused the pollution ofthe environment with arsenic.Recently, guidelines for arsenic in rice have been adopted by the Korean ministry of food and drug safety to prevent health risks based on rice consumption. Because of the exposure to arsenic and its accumulation in the human body through various channels, such as air inhalation, skin contact, ingestion of drinking water, and food consumption, integrated multimedia risk assessment is required to adopt appropriate risk management policies. Therefore, integrated human health risk assessment was carried outin this study using integrated exposure assessment based on multimedia (e.g., air, water, and soil) and multi-route (e.g., oral, inhalation, and dermal) scenarios. The results show that oral uptake via drinking wateris the most common pathway of arsenic into the human body, accounting for 57%-96% of the total arsenic exposure. Among various age groups, the highest exposures to arsenic were observed in infants because the body weight of infants is low and the surface areas ofinfant bodies are large. Based on the results ofthe exposure assessment,the cancer and non-cancer risks were calculated. The cancer risk for CTE and RME is in the range of 2.3E-05 to 6.7E-05 and thus is negligible because it does not exceed the cancer probability of 1.0E-04 for all age groups. On the other hand, the cancer risk for RME varies from 6.4E-05 to 1.8E-04 and from 1.3E-04 to 1.8E-04 for infants and preschool children, exceeding the excess cancerrisk of 1.0E-04. The non-cancerrisks range from 5.4E-02 to 1.9E-01 and from 1.5E-01 to 6.8E-01, respectively. They do not exceed the hazard index 1 for all scenarios and all ages.

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