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Open AccessArticle

Exposure Assessment of Allergens and Metals in Settled Dust in French Nursery and Elementary Schools

Instituto Superior Técnico, Centro de Ciências e Tecnologias Nucleares, Universidade de Lisboa, Estrada Nacional 10, Bobadela 2695-066, Portugal
CSTB-Scientific and Technical Building Centre, Paris Est University, 84 Avenue Jean Jaurès, 77447 Marne la Vallée Cedex 2, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Pasquale Avino
Atmosphere 2015, 6(11), 1676-1694;
Received: 26 August 2015 / Revised: 26 October 2015 / Accepted: 28 October 2015 / Published: 5 November 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor and Outdoor Air Quality)
The aim of this study was to characterise the contamination in settled dust in French classrooms and to provide an overview of the influencing factors of dust contamination. Cat, dog and dust mite allergens and metals were measured in 51 classrooms at 17 schools. The concentrations of pet allergens in settled dust were generally low (mean value of 0.1 µg·g−1), with carpeted and rug-covered floors presenting higher dust and cat allergen concentrations. The highest metal loadings in dust were observed for manganese (Mn) and copper (Cu), while the lead (Pb) loadings were lower (16 ± 19 µg·m−2) and fell below the French guideline. Higher metal leachability was found for cadmium (Cd), Cu, Pb and strontium (Sr) at values of approximately 80%, which suggest that, in cases of dust ingestion by children, a large proportion should be assimilated through the gastro-intestinal tract. The intra-classroom and intra-school variabilities of the metal concentrations in settled dust were lower than the variability between schools. Classrooms with tiled floors had higher Pb loadings than classrooms with wood or vinyl floors. In addition, wet cleaning less than once a week resulted in greater loadings of Cu and Pb in the settled dust. Lastly, enrichment factors showed that metals in settled dust of classrooms were not only from the contribution of the natural background concentrations in soils. View Full-Text
Keywords: settled dust; allergens; metals; classrooms; enrichment factors settled dust; allergens; metals; classrooms; enrichment factors
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Canha, N.; Mandin, C.; Ramalho, O.; Wyart, G.; Ribéron, J.; Dassonville, C.; Derbez, M. Exposure Assessment of Allergens and Metals in Settled Dust in French Nursery and Elementary Schools. Atmosphere 2015, 6, 1676-1694.

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