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PubMed | Health Local Unit of Barletta Andria Trani, Environmental Protection Agency of Apulia and University of Bari
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Environmental monitoring and assessment | Year: 2016

In areas at high environmental risk, a major issue is the assessment of the exposure of the general population to industrial pollutants. To date, few studies have investigated exposure to heavy metals in a population residing in a high risk environmental area. The aim of this study is to evaluate the exposure to heavy metals in the industrial area of Taranto, Southern Italy, through biological monitoring techniques. We measured the levels of inorganic arsenic and methylated metabolites, lead, cadmium, chromium, and manganese in the urine samples of 279 subjects residing in Taranto and neighboring areas. After obtaining informed consent from each participant, qualified health staff administered a standardized structured questionnaire investigating lifestyle habits and assessing any confounding factors. The biological monitoring data showed high urinary concentrations of nearly all of the heavy metals investigated. These findings could be related to the presence of industrial plants and is sufficient to warrant the expectation that local and national institutions should be required to adopt preventive measures to reduce the environmental exposure of the general population to heavy metals.

Esposito V.,Environmental Protection Agency of Apulia | Maffei A.,Environmental Protection Agency of Apulia | Bruno D.,Environmental Protection Agency of Apulia | Varvaglione B.,Environmental Protection Agency of Apulia | And 6 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2014

PCDD/F in exhaust gas emission samples was determined by the Environmental Agency of Apulia for a sinter plant located in Taranto (Italy) starting from June 2007 following an Agreement Act between plant owners and the Regional Government with the aim to assess and improve the environmental performances of the plant. The first two sampling campaigns yielded results ranging between 3.42 and 8.34ng I-TE/Nm3 that were soon considered revelatory of a high potential impact on the surrounding environment and the public, prompting for immediate action. As a first outcome, a Regional Regulation (LR 44/2008) was enforced in order to reduce PCDD/F emissions by plants operating in the metal sector, including sinter plants. After installation of a urea addition plant to the sinter mix as a process-integrated abatement technique the emissions ranged from 0.86 to 3.59ng I-TE/Nm3. In order to reach compliance to the newly introduced emission limit value of 0.4ng I-TE/Nm3 the urea plant was removed in favour of active-carbon injection as an end-of-pipe technique. Subsequently, during year 2011 emission values ranged from 0.095 to 1.97ng I-TE/Nm3, while in 2012 the observed range was 0.058 to 0.91ng I-TE/Nm3. As a better evaluation of the potential impact of the sinter plant emissions, a yearly mass-flow was estimated using exhaust gas PCDD/F concentrations and plant operational parameters (3.4MNm3/h). Mass-flow was estimated to be as high as 165g I-TE/year for 2007 using yearly average concentrations or 248g I-TE/year using the peak-value of 8.34ng I-TE/Nm3. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

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