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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(8), 886; doi:10.3390/ijerph14080886

Health Risks and Contamination Levels of Heavy Metals in Dusts from Parks and Squares of an Industrial City in Semi-Arid Area of China

Department of Environmental Science, School of Geography and Tourism, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an 710119, China
College of Resources and Environment, Baotou Normal College, Science and Technology University of Inner Mongolia, Baotou 014030, China
Department of Geography, North heavy industry No.3 Middle School, Baotou 014030, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 July 2017 / Revised: 4 August 2017 / Accepted: 5 August 2017 / Published: 7 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Risk Assessment)
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The contamination characteristics and health risk of barium (Ba), cobalt (Co), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), vanadium (V), zinc (Zn), arsenic (As), mercury (Hg), and cadmium (Cd) in samples of dust gathered from squares and parks of Baotou city, an industrial city situated in a semi-arid location of the northwest China were investigated. The contents of Ba, Co, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, V, Pb, and Zn in the collected dust samples were determined using X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, while the contents of As and Hg in the dust were investigated by use of the ICP-MS. Further, cadmium was quantified through the atomic absorption spectrometry. Levels of contamination of heavy metals analyzed in the dust samples were evaluated using the Geo-Accumulation index (Igeo) as well as through a Pollution Load Index (PLI). Their health risks to children and adults were evaluated based on the US EPA model of health risk. The findings portrayed that the mean concentrations of Ba, Co Cr, Cu, Pb, V, Cd, and Hg were elevated as compared with their local soil background values. Mean values of Igeo illustrate the order of Co > Cr> Cd > Hg > Pb > Cu > Ba > V > Ni > Mn > Zn > As. It was evident that dusts from the parks and squares were “unpolluted” to “moderately polluted”. Assessment of health risk depicts that ingestion is the foremost route of exposure in regard to the heavy metals, then the dermal adsorption follows. Hg exposure from dust might also set impending health threats to children. Besides, the cancer risks of Co, Cr, Ni, Cd, and As are considered to be within the presently tolerable range. View Full-Text
Keywords: heavy metal; dust; contamination level; health risk assessment; Baotou city heavy metal; dust; contamination level; health risk assessment; Baotou city

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Han, X.; Lu, X.; Qinggeletu; Wu, Y. Health Risks and Contamination Levels of Heavy Metals in Dusts from Parks and Squares of an Industrial City in Semi-Arid Area of China. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 886.

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