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Metal Exposure and Associated Health Risk to Human Beings by Street Dust in a Heavily Industrialized City of Hunan Province, Central China

by Guangyi Sun 1,2, Zhonggen Li 1,*, Ting Liu 1,2,3, Ji Chen 1,4, Tingting Wu 1,5 and Xinbin Feng 1,*
State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guiyang 550081, China
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China
Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430072, China
Guizhou Provincial Laboratory for Mountainous Environment, Guizhou Normal University, Guiyang 550001, China
Key Laboratory of Karst Environment and Geohazard Prevention, Guizhou University, Guiyang 550003, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Susanne Charlesworth
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 261;
Received: 15 December 2016 / Accepted: 22 February 2017 / Published: 3 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heavy Metals: Environmental and Human Health)
Fifty-five urban street dust samples were collected from Zhuzhou, an industrial city in central China and analyzed for a range of toxic elements. Potential carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic health effects on children and adults due to exposure to street dust were assessed. Concerning the two subgroups, the child cohort is confronted with considerably greater health risks than adults. According to the Hazard Quotient (HQ) method, ingestion of dust particles poses primary risk to children and adults, followed by dermal contact and inhalation for all of the metals investigated except Hg, for which inhalation of its elemental vapor constitute a slightly higher risk than ingestion. For children, Pb, As, Cd, Cr, Hg and Sb exposure were deemed as the highest contributors to non-cancer health risks, while As and Cr represent an enhanced cancer risk for children. For adults, risk indicator values for both cancer and non-cancer effects obtained were within the safety threshold. In a comparison with other locations within and outside mainland China, exposure to arsenic is prominent for the population of Zhuzhou, indicating more attention and preventive actions should been taken. View Full-Text
Keywords: street dust; health risk; cancer; arsenic; metals street dust; health risk; cancer; arsenic; metals
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Sun, G.; Li, Z.; Liu, T.; Chen, J.; Wu, T.; Feng, X. Metal Exposure and Associated Health Risk to Human Beings by Street Dust in a Heavily Industrialized City of Hunan Province, Central China. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 261.

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