Investigation of adverse health effects of residual oil fly ash emitted from a heavy-oil-fuelled Hungarian power plant

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The adverse health effects of the Residual Oil Fly Ash (ROFA) emitted by a Hungarian power plant on inhabitants living in the villages surrounding the city where the power plant is situated and in the city itself were investigated. For the investigations, data obtained from the National Public Health and Medical Officer Services, the National Cancer Registry of Hungary, the Public Administration Office of Pest and Fejér Counties were used. The frequency of lower respiratory system diseases and malignant neoplasms amongst the inhabitants of the settlements 0-13 km far from the power station compared with that of the control settlement for different age-groups were calculated. The prevalence and incidence rates, calculated for the inhabitants of the city where the power plant is situated were always comparable to those of the control settlement, because the heavy metal containing ROFA particles emitted from the 202-m-high stack are deposited outside the town. The prevalence rates of adult patients treated for malignant neoplasms and chronic lower respiratory system diseases were about two times and up to eight times higher than in the control settlement, respectively, for three villages situated 8-12 km far from the source in the predominant direction of wind blow as of 1st of January 2000 and 1st of January 2002. In these villages, the incidence rates for newly recognised malignant neoplasms of lip, oral cavity and pharynx were four times higher than those in the control settlement between 1st of January 2000 and 1st of January 2002. It may be supposed that the emitted fly ash is responsible for the more frequent occurrence of the examined diseases in the investigated settlements. Data presented are suggestive of an increased risk, which will further be investigated by the usual methods of the epidemiology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-269
Number of pages7
JournalMicrochemical Journal
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2005



  • Chronic respiratory system diseases
  • Hungary
  • Neoplasm
  • Nickel
  • Power plant
  • Residual oil fly ash
  • Vanadium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy

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