Ambient Air Quality Monitoring in Terms of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) Occupational Health Exposure at Petroleum Refinery

Ritesh K Singh; D. S. Ramteke; H. D. Juneja; G. H. Pandya
Study of ambient air quality data of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the atmosphere is of growing importance due to the inclusion of these parameters in the new notification November 2009 by MoEF, India and in view of health impacts of VOCs, their occupational exposures at workplace. Measurements were carried out for 8 hours to generate the database regarding exposures of the workers and the village inhabitants. The samples were adsorbed on activated charcoal tubes and subsequently desorbed using thermal desorption unit and analyzed by GC/FID system. The 8-hour Time Weighted Average (TWA) of Total BTEX inside refinery, at boundary walls and in nearby villages around the refinery varies in the range of 21.61–56.67 μg/m³, 5.03–16.88 μg/m³ and 3.69– 7.91 μg/m³ respectively. The decrease in 8–hour TWA and concentration ratios of BTEX at boundary walls and nearby villages indicate that the exposure of these aromatic compounds on the nearby village inhabitants is negligible. The study also reports fugitive emissions data of VOCs near major activities in the refinery. Specific guidelines were needed to combat these uncontrolled fugitive emissions of Total VOCs at petroleum refineries.
BTEX; 8–hour TWA; Occupational Exposure; Boundary Walls; Villages Inhabitants
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