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Environmental and health risk assessment of an oil contaminated site in the Mexican tropical southeast

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The aim of the present study was the environmental and health risk assessment of the oil contaminated soil in the Mexican tropic. The case is based on the total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) and polycyclic aromatic (PAH) soil contamination resulting from the activities of the oil industry over 70 years. The results of this study were estimated using CalTOX, a multimedia exposure model. The aromatic fraction constituted by PAH of two, three, four and five rings presented concentrations from 0.005 to 3.84 mg/kg. The BaP was the chemical of major concern due to its high carcinogen potential. The health risk assessment with CalTOX showed that risk mainly came from two exposure pathways: dermal uptake and ingestion. Only one zone was classified in the high risk level and rest of the zones did not exceed the acceptable health risk value (>10-E6) without requiring remediation actions. The environmental compartment that required main attention was the surface soil. [Received: September 22, 2009; Accepted: December 8, 2009]

Keywords: environmental risk assessment, health risk assessment, health assessment, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, PAH, BaP, soil contamination, CalTOX, oil waste, Mexico, environmental pollution, total petroleum hydrocarbons, TPH

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