Advertisement

Ambient BTEX levels over urban, suburban and rural areas in Malaysia

  • Haris Hafizal Abd Hamid
  • Mohd Talib LatifEmail author
  • Mohd Shahrul Mohd Nadzir
  • Royston Uning
  • Md Firoz Khan
  • Narayanan Kannan
Article

Abstract

Benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene isomers (BTEX) are volatile organic air pollutants of concern which arise from natural and anthropogenic sources. This study aims to determine and evaluate the BTEX levels in ambient air in selected areas of Malaysia, namely: Kuala Lumpur (KL-urban), Penang (PG-urban), Bangi (BG-suburban), Langkawi (LGK-suburban) and the Danum Valley (DV-rural). Active sampling with sorbent tubes was applied in this study and samples were analysed using thermal desorption (TD) coupled with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The results show that the urban area of KL had the highest ΣBTEX (40.36 ± 6.99 μg/m3) followed by PG (30.82 ± 8.06 μg/m3). ΣBTEX concentrations in the suburban areas of LGK and BG were measured as 20.22 ± 11.42 μg/m3 and 12.36 ± 2.26 μg/m3, respectively. The rural area of DV had the lowest concentration of ΣBTEX (5.55 ± 2.54 μg/m3). The average toluene to benzene (T:B) ratio at KL, PG and LG were found to be within the range of 2.00–5.00 thus indicating vehicle emissions as the main source. The benzene level at both KL (7.43 μg/m3) and PG (5.12 μg/m3) were found to be slightly higher than the annual benchmark of 5 μg/m3 as suggested by the European Union (EU). The results of health risk assessments found that the cancer risk (CR) based on benzene concentrations in urban, suburban and rural areas was > 10−6 thus indicating a link between human cancer risks and ambient benzene exposure.

Keywords

VOCs Active sampling Gas chromatography BTEX ratio Cancer risk 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was financially supported by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) research grant AP-2015-010 and Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) Sciencefund 06-01-02-SF1274. Special thanks to Dr. Rose Norman for proof reading this manuscript.

Supplementary material

11869_2019_664_MOESM1_ESM.docx (30 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 30 kb)

References

  1. Al Madhoun WA, Ramli NA, Yahaya AS et al (2010) Levels of benzene concentrations emitted from motor vehicles in various sites in Nibong Tebal, Malaysia. Air Qual Atmos Health 4:103–109.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11869-010-0083-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alghamdi MA, Khoder M, Abdelmaksoud AS, Harrison RM, Hussein T, Lihavainen H, al-Jeelani H, Goknil MH, Shabbaj II, Almehmadi FM, Hyvärinen AP, Hämeri K (2014) Seasonal and diurnal variations of BTEX and their potential for ozone formation in the urban background atmosphere of the coastal city Jeddah , Saudi Arabia. Air Qual Atmos Health 7:467–480.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11869-014-0263-x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Amini H, Schindler C, Hosseini V, Yunesian M, Künzli N (2017) Land use regression models for Alkylbenzenes in a middle eastern megacity: Tehran study of exposure prediction for environmental Health Research (Tehran SEPEHR). Environ Sci Technol 51:8481–8490.  https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.7b02238 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ashfold MJ, Pyle JA, Robinson AD, Meneguz E, Nadzir MSM, Phang SM, Samah AA, Ong S, Ung HE, Peng LK, Yong SE, Harris NRP (2015) Rapid transport of east Asian pollution to the deep tropics. Atmos Chem Phys 15:3565–3573.  https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-15-3565-2015 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Atkinson R (1990) Gas-phase tropospheric chemistry of organic compounds: a review. Atmos Environ Part A, Gen Top 24:1–41.  https://doi.org/10.1016/0960-1686(90)90438-S CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. ATSDR (2007) Toxicological Profile for Xylenes. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp71. Accessed 04 June 2018
  7. Bari MA, Kindzierski WB (2017) Concentrations, sources and human health risk of inhalation exposure to air toxics in Edmonton, Canada. Chemosphere 173:160–171.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2016.12.157 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bauri N, Bauri P, Kumar K, Jain VK (2016) Evaluation of seasonal variations in abundance of BTXE hydrocarbons and their ozone forming potential in ambient urban atmosphere of Dehradun (India). Air Qual Atmos Health 9:95–106.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11869-015-0313-z CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Buczynska AJ, Krata A, Stranger M, Locateli Godoi AF, Kontozova-Deutsch V, Bencs L, Naveau I, Roekens E, van Grieken R (2009) Atmospheric BTEX-concentrations in an area with intensive street traffic. Atmos Environ 43:311–318.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2008.09.071 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. CalEPA (2007) Adoption of a Unit Risk Value for Ethylbenzene. California Environmental Protection Agency, SacramentoGoogle Scholar
  11. Cerón-Bretón JG, Cerón-Bretón RM, Kahl JDW, Ramírez-Lara E, Guarnaccia C, Aguilar-Ucán CA, Montalvo-Romero C, Anguebes-Franseschi F, López-Chuken U (2014) Diurnal and seasonal variation of BTEX in the air of Monterrey, Mexico: preliminary study of sources and photochemical ozone pollution. Air Qual Atmos Health 8:469–482.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11869-014-0296-1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dehghani M, Fazlzadeh M, Sorooshian A, Tabatabaee HR, Miri M, Baghani AN, Delikhoon M, Mahvi AH, Rashidi M (2018) Characteristics and health effects of BTEX in a hot spot for urban pollution. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 155:133–143.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2018.02.065 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. European Commission (2000) Directive 2000/69/EC of the European Parliament and of the council of 16 November 2000 relating to limit values for benzene and carbon monoxide in ambient air. Off J Eur Union 313:12–21.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2010.02.014 Google Scholar
  14. Fujii Y, Mastura M, Susumu T et al (2016) A case study of PM2.5 characterization in Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia during the southwest monsoon season. Aerosol Air Qual Res 16:2685–2691.  https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2015.04.0277 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gee IL, Sollars CJ (1998) Ambient air levels of volatile organic compounds in Latin American and Asian cities. Chemosphere 36:2497–2506.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0045-6535(97)10217-X CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hajizadeh Y, Mokhtari M, Faraji M, Mohammadi A, Nemati S, Ghanbari R, Abdolahnejad A, Fard RF, Nikoonahad A, Jafari N, Miri M (2018) Trends of BTEX in the central urban area of Iran: a preliminary study of photochemical ozone pollution and health risk assessment. Atmos Pollut Res 9:220–229.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apr.2017.09.005 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hamid HHA, Jumah NS, Latif MT, Kannan N (2017) BTEXs in indoor and outdoor air samples: source apportionment and health risk assessment of benzene. J Environ Sci Public Heal 1:49–56.  https://doi.org/10.26502/JESPH.005 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Han X, Naeher LP (2006) A review of traffic-related air pollution exposure assessment studies in the developing world. Environ Int 32:106–120.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2005.05.020 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hasan AR, Nair PL (2014) Urbanisation and growth of metropolitan centres in Malaysia. Malays J Econ Stud 51:87–101Google Scholar
  20. Heibati B, Godri Pollitt KJ, Charati JY, Ducatman A, Shokrzadeh M, Karimi A, Mohammadyan M (2018) Biomonitoring-based exposure assessment of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene among workers at petroleum distribution facilities. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 149:19–25.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2017.10.070 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ho KF, Lee SC, Guo H, Tsai WY (2004) Seasonal and diurnal variations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the atmosphere of Hong Kong. Sci Total Environ 322:155–166.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2003.10.004 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Huong Giang NT, Kim Oanh NT (2014) Roadside levels and traffic emission rates of PM2.5 and BTEX in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Atmos Environ 94:806–816.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2014.05.074
  23. IARC (2012) IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans 100 F, International Agency for Research on CancerGoogle Scholar
  24. Ismail AS, Abdullah AM, Samah MAA (2017) Environmetric study on air quality pattern for assessment in northern region of peninsular Malaysia. J Environ Sci Technol 10:186–196.  https://doi.org/10.3923/jest.2017.186.196 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Jamhari AA, Sahani M, Latif MT, Chan KM, Tan HS, Khan MF, Mohd Tahir N (2014) Concentration and source identification of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in PM10 of urban, industrial and semi-urban areas in Malaysia. Atmos Environ 86:16–27.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2013.12.019 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Jiang Z, Grosselin B, Daële V, Mellouki A, Mu Y (2017) Seasonal and diurnal variations of BTEX compounds in the semi-urban environment of Orleans, France. Sci Total Environ 574:1659–1664.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.08.214 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kumar A, Singh D, Kumar K, Singh BB, Jain VK (2018) Distribution of VOCs in urban and rural atmospheres of subtropical India: temporal variation, source attribution, ratios, OFP and risk assessment. Sci Total Environ 613–614:492–501.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.09.096 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lan TTN, Binh NTT (2012) Daily roadside BTEX concentrations in East Asia measured by the Lanwatsu, Radiello and ultra I SKS passive samplers. Sci Total Environ 441:248–257.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.08.086 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Laowagul W, Garivait H, Limpaseni W, Yoshizumi K (2008) Ambient air concentrations of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene in Bangkok, Thailand during April-August in 2007. Asian J Atmos Environ 2:14–25.  https://doi.org/10.5572/ajae.2008.2.1.014 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Li L, Li H, Zhang X, Wang L, Xu L, Wang X, Yu Y, Zhang Y, Cao G (2014) Pollution characteristics and health risk assessment of benzene homologues in ambient air in the northeastern urban area of Beijing, China. J Environ Sci 26:214–223.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S1001-0742(13)60400-3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Liu A, Hong N, Zhu P, Guan Y (2018) Understanding benzene series (BTEX) pollutant load characteristics in the urban environment. Sci Total Environ 619–620:938–945.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.11.184 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. MacKenzie AR, Langford B, Pugh TAM et al (2011) The atmospheric chemistry of trace gases and particulate matter emitted by different land uses in Borneo. Philos Trans R Soc B Biol Sci 366:3177–3195.  https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2011.0053 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Marć M, Bielawska M, Simeonov V, Namieśnik J, Zabiegała B (2016) The effect of anthropogenic activity on BTEX, NO2, SO2, and CO concentrations in urban air of the spa city of Sopot and medium-industrialized city of Tczew located in North Poland. Environ Res 147:513–524.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2016.03.014 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Marć M, Namieśnik J, Zabiegała B (2014) BTEX concentration levels in urban air in the area of the Tri-City agglomeration (Gdansk, Gdynia, Sopot), Poland. Air Qual Atmos Health 7:489–504.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11869-014-0247-x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Masih A, Lall AS, Taneja A, Singhvi R (2016) Inhalation exposure and related health risks of BTEX in ambient air at different microenvironments of a terai zone in North India. Atmos Environ 147:55–66.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2016.09.067 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Miller L, Xu X, Wheeler A, Atari DO, Grgicak-Mannion A, Luginaah I (2011) Spatial variability and application of ratios between BTEX in two Canadian cities. Sci World J 11:2536–2549.  https://doi.org/10.1100/2011/167973 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Miri M, Shendi MRA, Ghaffari HR et al (2016) Investigation of outdoor BTEX: concentration, variations, sources, spatial distribution, and risk assessment. Chemosphere 163:601–609.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2016.07.088 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Niu Z, Zhang H, Xu Y, Liao X, Xu L, Chen J (2012) Pollution characteristics of volatile organic compounds in the atmosphere of Haicang District in Xiamen City, Southeast China. J Environ Monit 14:1145–1152.  https://doi.org/10.1039/c2em10884d CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Norbäck D, Hashim JH, Hashim Z, Ali F (2017) Volatile organic compounds (VOC), formaldehyde and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in schools in Johor Bahru, Malaysia: associations with rhinitis, ocular, throat and dermal symptoms, headache and fatigue. Sci Total Environ 592:153–160.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.02.215 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Okada Y, Nakagoshi A, Tsurukawa M, Matsumura C, Eiho J, Nakano T (2012) Environmental risk assessment and concentration trend of atmospheric volatile organic compounds in Hyogo. Environ Sci Pollut Res 19:201–213.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-011-0550-0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Paralovo SL, Borillo GC, Barbosa CGG, Godoi AFL, Yamamoto CI, de Souza RAF, Andreoli RV, Costa PS, Almeida GP, Manzi AO, Pöhlker C, Yáñez-Serrano AM, Kesselmeier J, Godoi RHM (2016) Observations of atmospheric monoaromatic hydrocarbons at urban, semi-urban and forest environments in the Amazon region. Atmos Environ 128:175–184.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2015.12.053 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Phuc NH, Kim Oanh NT (2018) Determining factors for levels of volatile organic compounds measured in different microenvironments of a heavy traffic urban area. Sci Total Environ 627:290–303.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.01.216 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Ramírez N, Cuadras A, Rovira E, Borrull F, Marcé RM (2010) Comparative study of solvent extraction and thermal desorption methods for determining a wide range of volatile organic compounds in ambient air. Talanta 82:719–727.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.talanta.2010.05.038
  44. Ribes A, Carrera G, Gallego E, Roca X, Berenguer MJ, Guardino X (2007) Development and validation of a method for air-quality and nuisance odors monitoring of volatile organic compounds using multi-sorbent adsorption and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry thermal desorption system. J Chromatogr A 1140:44–55.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chroma.2006.11.062 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Słomińska M, Konieczka P, Namieśnik J (2014) The fate of BTEX compounds in ambient air. Crit Rev Environ Sci Technol 44:455–472.  https://doi.org/10.1080/10643389.2012.728808 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Sumari SM, Muhamad-Darus F, Kantasamy N, Urban Sinyaw SA (2010) Rainwater characterization at global atmospheric watch in Danum Valley, Sabah CSSR 2010 - 2010 Int Conf SciSoc Res 479–484. doi:  https://doi.org/10.1109/CSSR.2010.5773824
  47. Tiwari V, Hanai Y, Masunaga S (2010) Ambient levels of volatile organic compounds in the vicinity of petrochemical industrial area of Yokohama, Japan. Air Qual Atmos Health 3:65–75.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11869-009-0052-0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Tunsaringkarn T, Prueksasit T, Morknoy D, Semathong S, Rungsiyothin A, Zapaung K (2014) Ambient air’s volatile organic compounds and potential ozone formation in urban area, Bangkok, Thailand. J Environ Occup Sci 3:130–135.  https://doi.org/10.5455/jeos.20140903015449 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. USEPA (2015) United State Environmental Protection Agency, Integrated Risk Information System. http://www.epa.gov/iris. Accessed 12 April 2018
  50. USEPA (2009) Risk assessment guidance for superfund. Human Health Evaluation Manual. Part F, Supplemental Guidance for Inhalation Risk Assessment. Vol. I. United State Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  51. Villanueva F, Tapia A, Notario A, Albaladejo J, Martínez E (2014) Ambient levels and temporal trends of VOCs, including carbonyl compounds, and ozone at Cabañeros National Park border, Spain. Atmos Environ 85:256–265.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2013.12.015 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Wahid NBA, Latif MT, Suan LS, Dominick D, Sahani M, Jaafar SA, Mohd Tahir N (2014) Source identification of particulate matter in a semi-urban area of Malaysia using multivariate techniques. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 92:317–322.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-014-1201-1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Walgraeve C, Demeestere K, Dewulf J, van Huffel K, van Langenhove H (2011) Diffusive sampling of 25 volatile organic compounds in indoor air : uptake rate determination and application in Flemish homes for the elderly. Atmos Environ 45:5828–5836.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2011.07.007 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. WHO (1996) Updating and Revision of the Air Quality Guidelines for Europe; Report on the WHO Working Group on Volatile Organic Compounds. EUR/ ICP/EHAZ 94 05/MT1Google Scholar
  55. Wong GK, Ng S, Webster R (2013) Quantitative analysis of atmospheric volatile organic pollutants by thermal desorption gas chromatography mass spectrometry. Anal Methods 5:219–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Yu Y, Wen S, Lü H, Feng Y, Wang X, Sheng G, Fu J (2008) Characteristics of atmospheric carbonyls and VOCs in Forest Park in South China. Environ Monit Assess 137:275–285.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-007-9759-2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Zhang Y, Mu Y, Liu J, Mellouki A (2012) Levels, sources and health risks of carbonyls and BTEX in the ambient air of Beijing, China. J Environ Sci 24:124–130.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S1001-0742(11)60735-3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Media B.V., onderdeel van Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Environment and Development (LESTARI), Universiti Kebangsaan MalaysiaBangiMalaysia
  2. 2.School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, Faculty of Science and TechnologyUniversiti Kebangsaan MalaysiaBangiMalaysia
  3. 3.Centre for Tropical Climate Change System, Institute of Climate ChangeUniversiti Kebangsaan MalaysiaBangiMalaysia
  4. 4.Department of Chemistry, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  5. 5.Faculty of Applied SciencesAIMST UniversityBedongMalaysia

Personalised recommendations