J Korean Soc Environ Anal Search


Published online June 25, 2022.
Risk assessment of inhalation exposure to per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in industrial, urban-residential and rural areas near Hyeongsan River, Pohang
Sung-Hee Seo
POSTECH, Pohang, Korea
Correspondence:  Sung-Hee Seo, Tel: +1 7342634569, Fax: -, 
Email: sunghee918@postech.ac.kr
Received: 27 May 2022   • Accepted: 25 June 2022
This study aimed to evaluate human exposure and health risks to PFAS in the air near the Hyeongsan River in Pohang. The daily intake of PFOS was the highest, and those of PFBS, PFHxA, PFUnDA, and PFOA were also high. Ionic PFASs were the major exposed compounds compared to neutral PFASs. The exposure level of PFASs increased from upstream to downstream, which suggests that emission sources exist at a downstream. For the gaseous phase, the exposure level of PFBS with the shortest carbon chain length was the highest. Whereas PFOS had the highest exposure level for the particulate phase. The exposure and distribution of PFAS congeners differed depending on the sites or the gaseous and particulate phases, which means the difference in human exposure depending on PFASs emitted from the emission source for each site and the physicochemical properties of PFASs. Inhalation exposure to PFAS was below the PFAS intake safety threshold, and the toxicity was also lower than the WHO allowed level. However, health risks from long-term exposure to PFAS are of concern, and combining exposure through various exposure routes may have a significant health effect. Therefore, continuous monitoring and risk assessment are required.
Key Words: PFAS, Air pollution, Inhalation exposure, Industrial complex, Pohang


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