Nattaporn Pinthong1, Sarawut Thepanondh This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1,2, Akira Kondo3

1 Department of Sanitary Engineering, Faculty of Public Health, Mahidol University, Bangkok, 10400, Thailand
2 Center of Excellence on Environmental Health and Toxicology (EHT), Bangkok 10400, Thailand
3 Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University, Osaka 565-0871, Japan


Received: March 24, 2021
Revised: December 17, 2021
Accepted: January 4, 2022

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

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Cite this article:

Pinthong, N., Thepanondh, S., Kondo, A. (2022). Source Identification of VOCs and their Environmental Health Risk in a Petrochemical Industrial Area. Aerosol Air Qual. Res.


  • Emission source of VOCs affected to health risks are elucidated.
  • Contribution of potential emission sources towards ambient VOCs concentrations.
  • Receptor-oriented approach for better understanding and management of VOCs.


Ambient VOCs in the vicinity of a petrochemical industrial area were analyzed for their health impact and potential emission sources. Comprehensive measurements of VOCs were conducted based on US EPA TO-15. Potential carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic inhalation risks were evaluated by comparing the measured concentrations with the inhalation unit risk (IUR) and reference concentration (RfC). The results indicated that a high carcinogenic risk occurred from 1,2 dibromoethane and benzene, while non-carcinogenic risks were attributed to 1,3 butadiene, 1,1,2 trichloroethane, and 3-chloropropene. The Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) Version 5.0 was further utilized to estimate the contribution of specific sources to the VOC mixing ratio. The results revealed that the average VOC concentration in the community area was dominated by aromatic hydrocarbons, with toluene having the highest concentration. Vehicle exhaust was evaluated as the most contributing emission source of the VOC mixing ratio, followed by industrial processes. Specific VOC ratios were also applied to identify VOC sources. The T/B ratio was within the range 3.54-5.15, confirming that vehicle emissions were the main source of pollutants during the entire investigated period in the community area. As for the industrial area, the average VOC concentration was dominated by alkenes. Industrial processes and the petrochemical industry were the major sources of VOCs. The health risk assessment in the industrial area indicated that acrolein had the highest risk for non-carcinogens. 1,2-dichloroethane and 1,3-butadiene showed high potential as carcinogens.

Keywords: Diagnostic ratio, Health risk assessment, Map Ta Phut, Source apportionment, Volatile organic compound (VOCs)

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