Pollution Characteristics and Human Health Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in Street Dust from a Typical Industrial Zone in Wuhan City, Central China.Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 09 02; 19(17)IJ
This study aimed to assess the pollution levels, sources, and human health risks of heavy metals in street dust from a typical industrial district in Wuhan City, Central China. In total, 47 street dust samples were collected from the major traffic arteries and streets around Wuhan Iron and Steel (Group) Company (WISC) in Qingshan District, Wuhan. The concentrations of heavy metals (Cr, Mn, Ni, Zn, Fe, Cu, and Cd) in street dust were determined by atomic absorption spectroscopy. Results indicated that the mean concentrations of Zn (249.71 mg/kg), Cu (51.15 mg/kg), and Cd (0.86 mg/kg) in street dust were higher than their corresponding soil background values in Hubei Province. Heavy metal enrichment is closely related to urban transportation and industrial production. The pollution level of heavy metals in street dust was assessed using the geo-accumulation method (Igeo) and potential ecological risk assessment (PERI). Based on the Igeo value, Cr, Mn, Fe, and Ni showed no pollution, Zn and Cu showed light to moderate contamination, and Cd showed moderate contamination. The PERI values of heavy metals in street dust ranged between 76.70 and 7027.28, which represents a medium to high potential ecological risk. Principal component analysis showed that the sources of heavy metals in street dust were mainly influenced by anthropogenic activities. Among the studied metals, Cu, Cr, Zn, Fe, and Mn mainly come from industrial processes, while Ni and Cd come from traffic exhaust. The non-carcinogenic risk indexes of heavy metals for children and adults are ranked as Cr > Cu > Ni > Cd > Zn. The health risks to children through the different exposure pathways are higher than those for adults. Hand-to-mouth intake is the riskiest exposure pathway for non-carcinogenic risk. In addition, Cr, Ni, and Cd do not pose a carcinogenic risk for the residents.