Risk Assessment of Ambient Air Pollutants and Health Impact around Fuel Stations in Urban Cities of KSA

Mubashir Zafar, Syed Tafazzul H. Zaidi, Syed Shajee Husain, Noreen M. Bukhari


Background: In Saudi Arabia, fuel dispensing facilities commonly present around the residential places, educational institutions, and various health care facilities. Fuel pollutants such as benzene, toluene, and xylenes (BTX) and its alkyl derivatives are harmful to human health because of their toxic, mutagenic, or carcinogenic properties. The aim of this study was to determine the BTX concentration levels of common pollutants in and around fuel stations and their harmful health effects in the urban cites of KSA. Methods: Forty fuel dispensing facilities were randomly selected on the basis of three different areas: residential, traffic intersection, and petrol pump locations (refueling stations). Portable ambient analyzer was used for measuring BTX concentration. t‑test was applied to determine the difference between these different areas. Results: All mean concentration values of pollutants such as BTX around residential, traffic intersection, and fuel stations are exceeding the limits of air quality standards values (P < 0.01). The mean levels of benzene are 10.3 and 11.07 ppm in Dammam and Khobar, respectively, and they exceed the reference level of 0.5 ppm. Hazard quotient was more than >1, which shows that carcinogenic probability has increased those who were living and working near fuel stations. Conclusions: The results found that the high concentration of pollutants (BTX) is in the environment around fuel stations. The environmental contamination associated with BTX in petrol fuel stations impulses the necessity of preventive programs to reduce the further air quality deterioration and reduce the harmful health effects.


Air; benzene; fuel; pollution; toluene; xylenes

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