Biomonitoring of the general population living near a modern solid waste incinerator: A pilot study in Modena, Italy

Andrea Ranzi, Silvia Fustinoni, Laura Erspamer, Laura Campo, Maria Giulia Gatti, Petra Bechtold, Stefano Bonassi, Tommaso Trenti, Carlo Alberto Goldoni, Pier Alberto Bertazzi, Paolo Lauriola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and goals: As part of the authorization process for the solid waste incinerator (SWI) in Modena, Italy, a human biomonitoring cross-sectional pilot study was conducted to investigate the degree to which people living and working in the proximity of the plant were exposed to SWI emissions. Methods: Between May and June 2010, 65 subjects living and working within 4. km of the incinerator (exposed) and 103 subjects living and working outside this area (unexposed) were enrolled in the study. Blood, serum and urinary metals (Pb, Cd, Cu, Zn, Hg, Mn, Ni), urinary benzene, toluene, xylene (BTEX), S-phenylmercapturic acid (SPMA), and urinary polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were analysed. Information about lifestyle, anthropometric characteristics, residence, and health status was collected by a self-administered questionnaire. Exposure to particulate matter (PM) emitted from the SWI was estimated using fall-out maps from a quasi-Gaussian dispersion model. A multiple linear regression analysis investigated the relationship between biomarkers and the distance of a subject's place of residence from the SWI plant or the exposure to PM. Results: Urinary BTEX and SPMA and blood, serum and urinary metals showed no differences between exposed and unexposed subjects. PAHs were higher in exposed than in unexposed subjects for phenanthrene, anthracene, and pyrene (median levels: 9.5 vs. 7.2. ng/L, 0.8 vs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-97
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironment international
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


  • Exposure
  • Heavy metals
  • Human biomonitoring
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Solid waste incinerator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Biomonitoring of the general population living near a modern solid waste incinerator: A pilot study in Modena, Italy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this