Lead (Pb) is a heavy metal that negatively affects human health. Many studies have shown the relationship between lead exposure and various human activities, of which automobile service stations with gasoline emissions are considered the main cause. However, a limited number of studies have specifically considered lead exposure from automobile stations in Vietnam, as well as its impact on human activities and the surrounding natural resources. The objective of this study was to assess the possible risks of lead exposure to the surrounding agricultural and non-agricultural farms of a bus station located in the center of Dalat city, Lamdong province, Vietnam. To address this objective, 45 samples were collected from the soil, irrigated water resources, and vegetable crops of areas both close to and far away from the bus station. These samples were tested using the atomic absorption spectrometry technique. Our findings demonstrated higher lead concentration levels from all three types of samples collected from areas near the bus station. Of which, soil and water samples showed higher than normal exposure values of lead, but these were still under the allowed limits established by the Vietnam standard. Different from the soil and water, vegetable samples surrounding the bus station presented greater lead contamination than the permitted limit. High risk quotient (RQ) indexes were detected to point out that accumulative consumption of leaded vegetables over time could cause lead poisoning and harm human health. This study not only provides significant inferential evidence of the risk of lead exposure to agricultural activities and human health in Vietnam, but also delivers a real-life example for a real-world context.
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