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Human Health Risks Assessment Associated with Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) in Soil from Different Contaminated Areas of Mexico


Recent studies have documented environmental contamination by PCBs in soil from different areas in Mexico (industrial, mining, and urban sites). However, the real significance of that soil contamination has not been established. Therefore, the aim of this study was to perform a human health risk assessment (Monte Carlos simulation) to evaluate the probable toxic effects of soils contaminated with PCBs on children in four sites in Mexico. A high non-carcinogenic risk (total nHQ = 1.1E+01; if nHQ ≥1, hazardous health effects cannot be ruled out) was found in Alpuyeca, Morelos, Mexico. Moreover, the total CR (cancer risk) found in Alpuyeca, Morelos is of concern (total CR = 5.1E−03), being that a cut-point of 1.0E−06 has been suggested as a safe level for cancer risk. Taking into consideration the data shown in this research, we conclude that a strategy to protect human health is necessary for the assessed sites.

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This work was financially supported by CONACyT (Grant CONACyT- PDCPN2015-1558 and Fondo Sectorial SEMARNAT–CONACYT-249421).

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Correspondence to Iván N. Pérez-Maldonado.

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Pérez-Maldonado, I.N., Ochoa Martínez, Á.C., Ruíz-Vera, T. et al. Human Health Risks Assessment Associated with Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) in Soil from Different Contaminated Areas of Mexico. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 99, 338–343 (2017).

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  • Mexico
  • Monte Carlo simulation
  • Persistent organic pollutants
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls
  • Risk assessment
  • Soil