WIT Press

Identification And Evaluation Of The Volatile Organic Compounds In Working Environment Areas At A Material Recycling Facility


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WIT Press


M. S. Elmegrahi, G. Karani & K. Morris


Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are major components of air pollution. It is well recognized that exposure to certain types of VOCs may cause occupational health effects such as respiratory disease, eye irritation, immune and neurological damage, and reproductive and endocrine disorders. Different techniques are used to identify the VOC concentration that workers may be exposed to in the working environment. In this study, real-time monitoring of VOC was determined in August and September 2006 using a MiniRAE 2000 PID at a Material Recycling Facility (MRF) in Wales, UK. An inspection of the site was undertaken before the measurements were made to assist us determine the appropriate sampling locations, and to fully understand the operations at the MRF. Benzene, Toluene, Ethyl benzene and Xylene (BTEX) were detected at different working environment areas at the MRF. Although the values monitored were low and are unlikely to have any primary health effects, it is worth investigating any unpleasant odours that may cause secondary symptoms Key words: air pollution, material recycling, emissions, VOCs 1 Introduction Although several researchers have addressed the risk of waste facilities, for instance congenital anomalies and malignancies in relation to living in closeproximity to landfill sites, the health impacts of new waste management technologies and the increasing use of recycling and composting is an area that always require further assessment and monitoring Rushton [1], Megrahi et al. [2].


air pollution, material recycling, emissions, VOCs