Periodic characterization of alkyl-naphthalenes in stack gas and ambient air around a medical waste incinerator
Environment Science Pollution Research
Due to the subtle occurrence of environmental polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAHs) pollution from incinerators, it is seldom considered a significant source of PAH pollution. However, considering the recent build-up of toxics in urban air, this may be a serious concern around the incinerator vicinity due to the potential consequences of PAHs on human health.Hence, this study determined 11 alkyl-naphthalene contributions from a hospital waste incinerator (HWI_0) into ambient air receptor points (HWI_1 to HWI_5) for a 1-year period: June 2014–May 2015. The HWI_0 and ambient gases were sampled using filter-sorbent sampling system and polyurethane foam (PUF) passive samplers, respectively, and all alkyl-naphthalenes were determined using GC-MS. Results showed that the source concentrations were in the range of 0–14.0 ng/m3 and generally higher than the receptor points. The receptor point concentration trends were mainly HWI_1 > HWI_2 ≥ HWI_3 ≥ HWI_5 ≥ HWI_4. Multivariate receptor model analysis suggested high correlations between source and the receptor points though there might be some significant contributions from other emission sources. The average monthly concentrations (Σalkyl-naphthalene) at HWI_0 and the receptors HWI_1, HWI_2, HWI_3, HWI_4 andHWI_5were 67.4 ± 24.3, 57.9 ± 20.1, 42.8 ± 16.9, 39.7 ± 12.2, 36.5 ± 22.2 and 37.8 ± 15.4 ng/m3, respectively. Though these concentrations were lower than the estimated minimal risk level (MRL) for chronic inhalation exposure to naphthalene and its derivatives 0.003 mg/m3, continuous exposure to these pollutants might result in chronic effects. Finally, this study may be used to evaluate the environmental contribution of alkyl-naphthalenes from typical medical waste incinerator in Nigeria.