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Risk assessment of atmospheric heavy metals exposure in Baotou, a typical industrial city in northern China.

Environ Geochem Health; 38(3): 843-53, 2016 Jun.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26350673
Industrial activities have led to serious air pollution and the potentially toxic elements in atmospheric particles can cause various health problems to humans. In this study, inhalable particulate matter (PM10) and fine particles (PM2.5) were collected from four typical sites in Baotou, an industrial city in northern China. We investigated both the mass concentrations of particulate matter and the concentrations of heavy metals (Cr, Ni, Pb, Cd, Cu, Mn, Co, and Zn) in the collected samples. We assessed the public health risks associated with atmospheric heavy metal exposure. The results showed that the mass concentrations of PM2.5 and PM10 as well as these heavy metal concentrations varied notably influenced by the prevailing wind directions. Among the studied metals, Zn, Mn, Pb, and Cr were the main metal pollutants in both PM10 and PM2.5. The results of the health assessment showed that the eight heavy metals studied pose significant non-carcinogenic risks and Cr, Cd, and Co pose lifetime lung cancer risks to local residents, especially to children.