A primary lead smelter operated in Santo Amaro City in Brazil from 1960 to 1993, leaving approximately 500,000 tons of industrial dross containing 2–3% of lead and other toxic elements that contaminated the industry grounds and the urban environment. This study aimed to present the local residents’ perception towards soil contamination by the smelter. In a cross-sectional study, 208 residents from randomly selected households were interviewed about dross hazards and proposals for its management. A city map depicts the distribution and concentration of lead, cadmium, arsenic, zinc, nickel, and antimony, measured in the soil of the 39 households with visible smelter dross. Only one site complies with the soil quality reference values; 27 (69.2%) call for preventive measures, and 11 (28.2%) require intervention. The smelter dross continues widely spread over the city. Thirty (76.9%) out of the 39 residents were able to recognize the smelter dross on household surroundings. However, this ability was not associated with the concentrations of toxic elements in the soil of their residences and surroundings. The smelter and the local Prefecture were most frequently held liable for taking soil cleanup actions. The most frequently (38.0%) cited solution for managing the dross found in the households was “to provide the residents with information about health risks related to the dross”.
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