Geochemistry and health risk assessment of arsenic exposure to street dust in the zinc smelting district

The aim of this study was to investigate arsenic (As) accumulation in street dust and health risk of population. The investigation concentration on pollution levels of As in street dust; spatial distribution of As in street dust; physicochemical properties analysis of street dust; and assessment of population health risk due to As exposure to street dust. As concentration in street dust ranged from 3.33 to 185.1 mg kg-1, with a mean of 33.10 mg kg-1, which was higher than the background value of Liaoning soil. As contamination level of the area closing to Huludao Zinc Plant (HZP) was highest. Spatial variation showed that the pollution centre was close to HZP, formed radial distribution pattern and extended to the northeast and southwest of HZP. The pH and original matter of street dust were both higher than the background values of soil in Liaoning. There was significantly negotiable correlation between As concentration and the pH. The mass percentages of particles 180-100, <100-75, <75-63, and <63 ím were 29.8, 3.7, 21.3, and 4.2 %, respectively. The highest of As concentration was found in the smallest particle size (<63 ím). As loadings in the particles of grain size 180- 100 and <75-63 ím were higher than other particle fractions. Results of the risk assessment indicated that the highest risk was associated with the ingestion of street dust particles. Health risk for different use scenarios decreased in the order of HZP > industrial district > school > common centre > residential area. Around HZP, Hazard Index (HI) for children and cancer risk of As by street dust exposure exceeded the acceptable values. It indicated that there was a potential adverse effect on children health by As exposure to the street dust of Huludao.

Authors: Xu, Sujuan; Zheng, Na; Liu, Jingshuang; Wang, Yang; Chang, Shouzhi ;Full Source: Environmental Geochemistry and Health 2013, 35(1), 89-99 (English) ;