Spatiotemporal distributions of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons close to a typical medical waste incinerator

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hydrocarbons (PAHs) especially from incinerators occur subtly, and PAH contribution from this source is underestimated. However, as environmental PAH concentrations build up, this may be a serious concern around the incinerator vicinity due to the potential consequences of PAHs on ecosystems and human health. Thus, the contribution of selected (12) PAHs from the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital medical waste incinerator (or source, HWI_0) was determined by sampling stack gas and ambient air around incinerator vicinity from June 2014 to May 2015. Results showed that the 12 PAH source (HWI_0) concentrations were in the range of NA (for phenanthrene, pyrene, anthracene, benz[e]acephenanthrylene, and indeno[2,1- b]chromene) to 10.9 ng/m3 (pyrelene) and generally higher than the receptor points (hospital waste incinerators (HWIs)). The average total PAH concentrations per month at HWI_0 and the receptors—HWI_1, HWI_2, HWI_3,HWI_4 and HWI_5—were 73.0 ± 27.9, 60.4 ± 30.8, 42.5 ± 23.6, 38.7 ± 21.9, 35.0 ± 27.2, and 39.2 ± 22.9 ng/m3, respectively. These results and multivariate receptor model analysis indicated high correlations between source PAH contributions and the receptor points. The PAH concentrations in the dry season were higher than the wet season suggesting that hydrological condition affects ambient PAH concentrations. The average PAH concentrations in the HWIs as well as the cumulative exposure concentrations observed throughout the period are of major health concern because PAH concentrations detected are several times higher than both the European Union standard and the WHO guideline level.



Environmental pollution, Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), Nigeria, Medical waste, Incinerator