Characteristics and inhalation cancer risk assessment of exposure to VOCs in 20 asthmatic children's homes in Shanghai


Exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is associated with a variety of adverse health outcomes. In this study, indoor and outdoor concentrations of 640 VOCs and their associated cancer risks are investigated in 20 asthmatic children's homes in Shanghai, China. The potential inhalation cancer risks of exposure to 13 carcinogenic VOCs were estimated by the Inhalation Unit Risk (IUR) proposed by the US EPA. Exposure to formaldehyde and 1,4-dichlorobenzene presented a mean lifetime cancer risk 4.15 and 2.75 fold higher than the US EPA proposed risk level of 1×10-4. 91% of the total cancer risk is due to indoor exposure. The investigation of potential inhalation cancer risks could help to support more effective air pollution control measures and risk management.