Multi-scale spatial modeling of human exposure from local sources to global intake

Cedric Wannaz*, Peter Fantke, Olivier Jolliet

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    Exposure studies, used in human health risk and impact assessments of chemicals are largely performed locally or regionally. It is usually not known how global impacts resulting from exposure to point source emissions compare to local impacts. To address this problem, we introduce Pangea, an innovative multi-scale, spatial multimedia fate and exposure assessment model. We study local to global population exposure associated with emissions from 126 point sources matching locations of waste-to-energy plants across France. Results for three chemicals with distinct physicochemical properties are expressed as the evolution of the population intake fraction through inhalation and ingestion as a function of the distance from sources. For substances with atmospheric half-lives longer than a week, less than 20% of the global population intake through inhalation (median of 126 emission scenarios) can occur within a 100 km radius from the source. This suggests that, by neglecting distant low-level exposure, local assessments might only account for fractions of global cumulative intakes. We also study ~10,000 emission locations covering France more densely to determine per chemical and exposure route which locations minimize global intakes. Maps of global intake fractions associated with each emission location show clear patterns associated with population and agriculture production densities.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)701-711
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

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