Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2122/15031
Authors: D'Agostino, Fabio* 
Avellone, Giuseppe* 
Ceraulo, Leopoldo* 
Di Stefano, Vita* 
Indelicato, Serena* 
La Pica, Leonardo* 
Morici, Sabina* 
Vizzini, Salvatrice* 
Bongiorno, David* 
Title: Groundwater of Sicily (Italy) Close to Landfill Sites: Quality and Human Health Risk Assessment
Journal: Exposure and Health 
Series/Report no.: /13 (2021)
Publisher: Springer
Issue Date: 30-May-2021
DOI: 10.1007/s12403-021-00401-z
Keywords: Human health risk
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
Polychlorinated biphenyls
Dioxin PCDD/Fs
Toxic elements
Environmental quality standard
Abstract: Groundwater close to three municipal solid waste landfll sites in Sicily (southern Italy) was sampled to determine the presence of contaminants and the risk associated with its possible use as drinking and sanitary water. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls, polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, polychlorinated dibenzofurans, and metals were investigated. These target compounds are the most common pollutants present in leachates. Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund (RAGS, US EPA) was used to assess human health risk. Ingestion, dermal, and total exposure to these xenobiotic contaminants in groundwater were evaluated, and the cancer and non-cancer risk indexes were calculated. The results revealed that, while the groundwater complied with Italian Drinking Water Directive 30/2001, it did not comply with the "good environmental state" criteria of Directive 30/2009 at two of the three sites investigated. Worrying results were revealed by the risk assessment at the investigated sites. Cancer and non-cancer risk indexes indicated a probable risk, mainly due to dermal exposure to groundwater. These results underline the importance of assessing the risk for all possible routes, evaluating not only ingestion but also dermal exposure, especially when organic pollutants are present. The results of this study show that human health risk has probably been underestimated in the past, as dermal exposure to organic pollutants has only rarely been evaluated in the literature.
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