Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12105/14522
Outdoor, indoor and personal distribution of BTEX in pregnant women from two areas in Spain - Preliminary results from the INMA project
Atmos Pollut Res. 2010 Jul;1(3):147-154.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are habitually found in both outdoor and indoor environments, may represent a significant health risk. In this context, pregnancy is a critical period since foetuses are more vulnerable than adults to exposure to toxic compounds. The objective of this study is to present the preliminary results of a series of measurements of outdoor (O), indoor (I) and personal exposure (P) to benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, o-xylene and m,p-xylene (BTEX) in 107 pregnant women from two areas in Spain, namely Valencia and Sabadell. BTEX samplers were installed for 48 hours both inside and outside of the women’s homes, along with personal samplers. In addition, the test subjects filled out a questionnaire about the activities they carried out during the sampling period. BTEX levels were higher in Valencia than in Sabadell (median O, I and P benzene levels in Valencia were 1.40, 2.40 and 3.05 μg/m3, respectively, while in Sabadell they were 0.01, 0.32 and 1.02 μg/m3). In both locations, an O<I<P pattern was observed. In the multivariate analysis an association was found between personal levels of total BTEX and indoor and outdoor levels, environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), and use of deodorant, perfume or hairspray in Valencia whereas in Sabadell an association between personal levels of total BTEX and indoor levels, age and working status was observed. We found that, in comparison with other studies, our sample population’s exposure to these compounds was not excessively high. This is one of the few studies to determine the personal BTEX exposure levels of pregnant women, who comprise a vulnerable population. Still, due to the small sample size of the present study, further studies are needed to be carried out in this field.
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