Metal contamination in soils and windowsill dusts: implication of multiple sources on dust metal accumulation within a city affected by Pb smelting

The accumulation of total Pb, Cd, Cu, and Zn in soils (0–5 cm) and windowsill dust fractions (45–125, 10–45, and?<?10 ?m), and soil pollution indices (PI), were investigated in a long-term (~?70 years) Pb smelter area and in the nearby urban city of Jiyuan, China. Principal component analysis (PCA) was utilized to identify metal contamination sources. Results showed that mean soil Pb, Cd, Cu, and Zn concentrations in the smelter area were 803, 13.8, 118, and 323 mg kg?1, while those of the urban area were 270, 7.95, 51.6, and 244 mg kg?1, respectively. Lead and Cd had greater soil PI than Cu and Zn. Lead concentrations in the 45–125, 10–45, and?<?10-?m urban dust fractions ranged from 197.1 to 1953 (mean 1020), 202–3962 (2407), and 51.1–1258 (310.7) mg kg?1, while Cd concentrations ranged from 11.1 to 111 (49.2), 10.4–159 (64.3) and 21.5–131 (60.0) mg kg?1, respectively. Excessive Zn concentrations (5000–22,000 mg kg?1) in some urban dust samples were found at two sampling sites, while Zn concentrations were?<?2600 mg kg?1 in all other samples. Based on PCA results, metal accumulation near the Pb smelter was dominated by smelting activities. The PCA results further suggested that mass vehicular transportation modes may be an important source of metals such as Cu and Zn in the urban area. Certain samples in both sub-areas had unsafe potential non-carcinogenic risks of Pb for children. These findings suggest that reducing environmentally relevant metal concentrations in this, and similar areas, will likely require a multi-faceted approach.

» Publication Date: 11/05/2022

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This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement Nº 768737


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