Cancer risk assessments of Hong Kong soils contaminated by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

Yu Bon Man, Yuan Kang, Hong Sheng Wang, Winifred Lau, Hui Li, Xiao Lin Sun, John P. Giesy, Ka Lai CHOW, Ming Hung WONG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

153 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to evaluate soils from 12 different land use types on human cancer risks, with the main focus being on human cancer risks related to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Fifty-five locations were selected to represent 12 different types of land use (electronic waste dismantling workshop (EW (DW)); open burning site (OBS); car dismantling workshop (CDW) etc.). The total concentrations of 16 PAHs in terms of total burden and their bioaccessibility were analysed using GC/MS. The PAHs concentrations were subsequently used to establish cancer risks in humans via three exposure pathways, namely, accident ingestion of soil, dermal contact soil and inhalation of soil particles. When the 95th centile values of total PAH concentrations were used to derive ingestion and dermal cancer risk probabilities on humans, the CDW land use type indicated a moderate potential for cancerous development (244×10-6 and 209×10-6, respectively). Bioaccessible PAHs content in soil samples from CDW (3.60×10-6) were also classified as low cancer risk. CDW soil possessed a higher carcinogenic risk based on PAH concentrations. Bioremediation is recommended to treat the contaminated soil.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)770-776
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2013

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

User-Defined Keywords

  • Bioaccessible PAHs
  • Car dismantling workshop
  • Farm soil
  • Lifetime cancer risk
  • Open burning


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