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Sci Total Environ. 2016 Jan 15;541:1348-1354. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.10.038. Epub 2015 Nov 11.

Concentrations and potential health risks of methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) in air and drinking water from Nanning, South China.

Author information

1
Department of Toxicology, School of Public Health, Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, Guangxi, China.
2
Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, School of Public Health, Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, Guangxi, China.
3
Atmospheric Environment Research Center, Scientific Research Academy of Guangxi Environmental Protection, Nanning, Guangxi, China.
4
Center for Environmental Health Research, South China Institute of Environmental Sciences, Ministry of Environmental Protection, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.
5
Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, Guangxi, China.
6
General Affairs Office, Guangxi Center for Disease Prevention and Control, Nanning, Guangxi, China.
7
Department of Toxicology, School of Public Health, Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, Guangxi, China. Electronic address: email_zyf@163.com.

Abstract

Levels of methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) in occupational air, ambient air, and drinking water in Nanning, South China, were investigated, and then their potential health risks to occupational workers and the general public were evaluated. Results show that the MTBE concentration in occupational air from 13 service stations was significantly higher than that in ambient air from residential areas (p<0.0001); both are far lower than the threshold limit value-time weighted average of MTBE regulated in the United States (US). The drinking water samples from household taps yielded detectable MTBE in the range of 0.04-0.33 μg/L, which is below the US drinking water standard of 20-40 μg/L. The non-carcinogenic risk of MTBE from air inhalation may be negligible because the calculated hazard quotient was less than 1. The mean MTBE lifetime cancer risk was within the acceptable limit of 1 × 10(-6) to 1 × 10(-4), but the lifetime cancer risk of refueling workers in the urban service station at the 95th percentile slightly exceeded the maximum acceptable carcinogen risk (1 × 10(-4)), indicating the potential carcinogenic health effects on the population highly exposed to MTBE in this region. The hazard index and carcinogenic risk of MTBE in drinking water were significantly lower than the safe limit of US Environmental Protection Agency, suggesting that drinking water unlikely poses significant health risks to the residents in Nanning.

KEYWORDS:

Air; Drinking water; Health risk assessment; Methyl tertiary-butyl ether

PMID:
26479908
DOI:
10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.10.038
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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