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Sci Total Environ. 2015 Mar 1;508:435-44. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.12.019. Epub 2014 Dec 12.

Assessing risks to adults and preschool children posed by PM2.5-bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) during a biomass burning episode in Northern Thailand.

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NIDA Center for Research & Development of Disaster Prevention & Management, School of Social and Environmental Development, National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA), 118 Moo 3, Sereethai Road, Klong-Chan, Bangkapi, Bangkok 10240, Thailand. Electronic address:
International Postgraduate Program in Environmental Management, Graduate School, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand; Center of Excellence for Environmental and Hazardous Waste Management (EHWM), Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.
Bara Scientific Co., Ltd., 968 Rama 4 Silom Bangrak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand.


To investigate the potential cancer risk resulting from biomass burning, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) bound to fine particles (PM2.5) were assessed in nine administrative northern provinces (NNP) of Thailand, before (N-I) and after (N-II) a haze episode. The average values of Σ 3,4-ring PAHs and B[a] P Equivalent concentrations in world urban cities were significantly (p<0.05) much higher than those in samples collected from northern provinces during both sampling periods. Application of diagnostic binary ratios of PAHs underlined the predominant contribution of vehicular exhaust to PM2.5-bound PAH levels in NNP areas, even in the middle of the agricultural waste burning period. The proximity of N-I and N-II values in three-dimensional (3D) principal component analysis (PCA) plots also supports this conclusion. Although the excess cancer risk in NNP areas is much lower than those of other urban area and industrialized cities, there are nevertheless some concerns relating to adverse health impacts on preschool children due to non-dietary exposure to PAHs in home environments.


Forest fire; Northern Thailand; PAHs; PM(2.5); Risk assessment

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