Applied Environmental Research

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Benzene (B), toluene (T), ethylbenzene (E) and xylene (X) known as BTEX are commonly observed in the refinery industrial area and acknowledged that pose a threat to human health, and possibly even more so to children. Personal exposure of 86 schoolchildren and the ambient air levels were measured simultaneously. The potential risks of BTEX exposure were also investigated. The results revealed that the highest BTEX personal exposures were observed in school children residing close to the oil refinery. The average ambient level of benzene and toluene were comparable to these level of personal exposure which indicated the large impact of outdoor air pollution on personal exposure. The non-cancer risks for BTEX exposure were within the acceptable limits (HQ < 1), meaning that no adverse effects were expected as a result of these exposures. Despite that the benzene level was lower than the daily guideline value, the estimate of cancer risk showed that the lifetime cancer risk of children was not negligible and therefore monitoring measure should be taken into account to preserve the health of children.

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