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Sci Total Environ. 2019 Dec 30;710:136313. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.136313. [Epub ahead of print]

Human exposure to trace elements and PCDD/Fs around a hazardous waste landfill in Catalonia (Spain).

Author information

1
Laboratory of Toxicology and Environmental Health, School of Medicine, IISPV, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Sant Llorenç 21, 43201 Reus, Catalonia, Spain.
2
Laboratory of Toxicology and Environmental Health, School of Medicine, IISPV, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Sant Llorenç 21, 43201 Reus, Catalonia, Spain; Environmental Engineering Laboratory, Departament d'Enginyeria Quimica, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Av. Països Catalans 26, 43007 Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain.
3
Laboratory of Toxicology and Environmental Health, School of Medicine, IISPV, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Sant Llorenç 21, 43201 Reus, Catalonia, Spain. Electronic address: marti.nadal@urv.cat.

Abstract

Hazardous waste landfills (HWLs) usually mean the end of non-reusable, non-recyclable and non-recoverable wastes derived from industrial activities. A number of hazardous compounds and toxic elements, such as PCDD/Fs, Cd, Cr, Hg, Pb and As, is associated to these wastes. The HWL of Castellolí (Catalonia, Spain) treats a variety of hazardous wastes, which include bottom ashes from waste incinerators and asbestos potentially containing those toxicants. In 2007, our group began a surveillance program inside the HWL and in nearby villages focused on assessing the environmental levels of PCDD/Fs and toxic elements. Here we summarize the most updated results, corresponding to data from samples collected between 2015 and 2018. The levels of most trace elements (As, Cd, Cr, Ni and Pb) in soils, as well as those of Cd and Pb in air, were significantly higher (p < 0.01) inside the HWL than outside. However, no relevant differences were noted in the concentrations of trace elements when comparing the results of villages near the HWL with those located farther. With respect to PCDD/Fs, a progressive decrease was observed between the first (2007) and most recent (2018) surveys. The human health risks associated with the exposure to trace elements and PCDD/Fs exposure were within acceptable ranges according to national and international legislations (HQ < 1 and Cancer risk < 10-5).

KEYWORDS:

Hazardous waste landfill; Human exposure; PCDD/Fs; Risk assessment; Trace elements

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