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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(5), 491;

Preliminary Assessment of Health Risks of Potentially Toxic Elements in Settled Dust over Beijing Urban Area

College of Resource Environment and Tourism, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100048, China
School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Hubei Key Laboratory of Mine Environmental Pollution Control and Remediation, Hubei Polytechnic University, Huangshi 435003, China
Institute of Hydrogeology and Environmental Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, Shijiazhuang 050061, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Howard W. Mielke
Received: 8 January 2016 / Revised: 14 March 2016 / Accepted: 22 March 2016 / Published: 11 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lead: Risk Assessment and Health Effects)
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To examine levels, health risks, sources, and spatial distributions of potentially toxic elements in settled dust over Beijing urban area, 62 samples were collected mostly from residential building outdoor surfaces, and their <63 μm fractions were measured for 12 potentially toxic elements. The results show that V, Cr, Mn, Co, Ni, and Ba in dust are from predominantly natural sources, whereas Cu, Zn, As, Cd, Sb, and Pb mostly originate from anthropogenic sources. Exposure to these elements in dust has significant non-cancer risks to children but insignificant to adults. Cancer risks of Cr, Co, Ni, As, and Cd via inhalation and dermal contact are below the threshold of 10−6–10−4 but As via dust ingestion shows a tolerable risk. The non-cancer risks to children are contributed mainly (75%) by As, Pb, and Sb, and dominantly (92%) via dust ingestion, with relatively higher risks mainly occurring in the eastern and northeastern Beijing urban areas. Although Cd, Zn, and Cu in dust are heavily affected by anthropogenic sources, their health risks are insignificant. Source appointments suggest that coal burning emissions, the dominant source of As, are likely the largest contributors to the health risk, and traffic-related and industrial emissions are also important because they contribute most of the Pb and Sb in dust. View Full-Text
Keywords: heavy metal; concentration; pollution; enrichment factor; health risk; source heavy metal; concentration; pollution; enrichment factor; health risk; source

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Wan, D.; Zhan, C.; Yang, G.; Liu, X.; Yang, J. Preliminary Assessment of Health Risks of Potentially Toxic Elements in Settled Dust over Beijing Urban Area. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 491.

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