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Open AccessArticle

Concentration Levels, Pollution Characteristics and Potential Ecological Risk of Dust Heavy Metals in the Metropolitan Area of Beijing, China

by Qiulin Xiong 1,*, Wenji Zhao 1,*, Jiayin Zhao 2,†, Wenhui Zhao 3,† and Lei Jiang 4,†
1
Urban Environmental Process and Digital Modeling Laboratory, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100048, China
2
College of Environmental Sciences and Enginnering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
3
Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center, Beijing 100044, China
4
Beijing Municipal Research Institute of Environmental Protection, Beijing 100037, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1159; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101159
Received: 26 August 2017 / Revised: 25 September 2017 / Accepted: 26 September 2017 / Published: 30 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Collection Environmental Risk Assessment)
This study aims to investigate the concentration levels, pollution characteristics and the associated potential ecological risks of the heavy metals found in dust in the metropolitan area of Beijing, China during the winter. Dust samples were collected at 49 different spatial locations of Beijing’s metropolitan area from November 2013 to January 2014, in which the concentration levels of Cd, Cr, Pb, Cu, Zn, Ni, Co, V, Bi and Mo were measured by Elan DRC II type inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Test results showed that the concentrations of dust heavy metals Pb, Cr, Cu and Zn in the urban areas (147.1 mg·kg−1, 195.9 mg·kg−1, 239.2 mg·kg−1 and 713.2 mg·kg−1) were significantly higher than those in the suburbs (91.6 mg·kg−1, 125.1 mg·kg−1, 131.9 mg·kg−1 and 514.5 mg·kg−1). Enrichment factors and the geo-accumulation index were used to describe the pollution characteristics of dust heavy metals in urban and suburban areas. Results indicated that Zn and Cu were moderately polluting in both urban and suburban areas, Cd was severely polluting in urban areas and heavily polluting in the suburbs. Furthermore, potential ecological risk assessment revealed that the degrees of ecological harm of dust heavy metals were very strong in both urban and suburban areas, but especially in urban areas. The potential ecological risk of heavy metal Cd, whose single factor of ecological damage was extremely strong, accounted for about 90% of the total ecological risk. View Full-Text
Keywords: dust heavy metals; pollution characteristics; enrichment factor; geo-accumulation index; potential ecological risk; urban-suburban areas dust heavy metals; pollution characteristics; enrichment factor; geo-accumulation index; potential ecological risk; urban-suburban areas
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Xiong, Q.; Zhao, W.; Zhao, J.; Zhao, W.; Jiang, L. Concentration Levels, Pollution Characteristics and Potential Ecological Risk of Dust Heavy Metals in the Metropolitan Area of Beijing, China. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 1159.

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