Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 17, pp 17137–17143 | Cite as

Assessment of the inhalation risks associated with working in printing rooms: a study on the staff of eight printing rooms in Beijing, China

  • Mingxing Su
  • Rubao Sun
  • Xun Zhang
  • Shen Wang
  • Ping Zhang
  • Zhengquan Yuan
  • Chao Liu
  • Qiang Wang
Research Article


The concentration of pollution directly determines the occupational health risk, and the exposure time is an important influencing factor. We evaluated the inhalation risks of working in a printing room. Eight units with centralized printing rooms were randomly selected. Formaldehyde, ozone, benzene, toluene, xylene, and fine particulate matter were detected by spectrophotometry, gas chromatography, and direct reading instruments, respectively. The U.S. EPA inhalation risk assessment model was used to assess cancer and non-cancer risks. The formaldehyde inhalation cancer risk value was 1.35–3.45 × 10−6, which is greater than the limit of 1 × 10−6, suggesting a risk of squamous cell carcinoma. The benzene inhalation cancer risk in five of the rooms was 1.09–4.65 × 10−6, which is greater than the limit of 1 × 10−6, suggesting a risk of leukemia. In terms of non-cancer risk, in five of the rooms, the hazard quotient (HQ) was > 1 (range 1.99–4.69) due to benzene pollution, suggesting a risk of reduced lymphocyte count. In one room, due to benzene and xylene pollution, the HQ was > 1, suggesting a risk of lymphocyte count drop and motor coordination impairment. Collectively, the study concludes that staff members of printing rooms are exposed to both cancer and non-cancer occupational health risks.


EPA inhalation risk assessment model Printing room Occupational health Risk assessment 



The authors thank all the technicians at the laboratory of the Institute of Disease Control and Prevention of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army for their contribution during sample test.

Author contributions

Zhengquan Yuan, Chao Liu, and Qiang Wang designed the study. Mingxing Su, Rubao Sun, and Qiang Wang performed the experiments. Xun Zhang, Shen Wang, and Ping Zhang provided the materials and helped analyze the results. Mingxing Su discussed, drafted, and wrote the paper.


This work was supported by a grant from the Army Logistics Research Plan of China (AEP14C001 and BHJ15J004) and the National Natural Science Foundation (No. 21407179).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

11356_2018_1802_MOESM1_ESM.docx (63 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 62 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Academy of Military Medical Science, Academy of Military ScienceBeijingChina
  2. 2.Institute of Disease Control and Prevention of the Chinese People’s Liberation ArmyBeijingChina
  3. 3.Institute of Pharmacology and ToxicologyAcademy of Military Medical SciencesBeijingChina

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