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Environ Geochem Health. 2017 Jun;39(3):611-634. doi: 10.1007/s10653-016-9836-y. Epub 2016 May 30.

Characterization, heavy metal content and health risk assessment of urban road dusts from the historic center of the city of Thessaloniki, Greece.

Author information

1
Department of Mineralogy-Petrology-Economic Geology, School of Geology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124, Thessaloníki, Greece. annab@geo.auth.gr.
2
Environmental Pollution Control Laboratory, Chemistry Department, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124, Thessaloníki, Greece.
3
Department of Mineralogy-Petrology-Economic Geology, School of Geology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124, Thessaloníki, Greece.

Abstract

In the present study, an investigation of the mineralogy and morphology, the heavy metal content and the health risk of urban road dusts from the second largest city of Greece was conducted. For this reason road dust samples from selected sites within the city core area were collected. No differences were observed in the mineralogy of road dusts coming from different sampling sites, and they were mainly consisted of quartz and calcite, while an elevated amorphous content was detected. Morphologically road dusts presented Ca-rich, Fe-rich and silicates particles with various shapes and sizes. The mean concentrations of Cd, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn in road dust were 1.76, 104.9, 662.3, 336.4, 89.43, 209 and 452.8 μg g-1, respectively. A series of spatial distribution patterns revealed that the hotspot areas were tended to associate with major road junctions and regions with high traffic. Combination of pollution indexes and statistical analyses (correlation analysis, cluster analysis and principal component analysis) revealed that road dusts have a severe influence by anthropogenic activities. In attempt to identify the source of metals through geostatistical and multivariate statistical analyses, it was concluded as follows: Cr, Cu, Fe and Zn mainly originated from tire/break wear and vehicle abrasions, while Cd, Mn and Pb were mainly related to fuel/oil leakage from automobiles along with oil lubricants and vehicle abrasion. Hazard quotient values for children based on total metal concentrations for the road dust ingestion route were lower than safe level (=1). However, the fact that the Hazard Index value for Pb (0.459) which is a particularly toxic metal, was close to safe level, renders essential further investigation in order to provide more reliable characterizations of potential health risks.

KEYWORDS:

Bioavailability; Fractionation; Health risk assessment; Heavy metals; Mineralogy; Road dust; Source identification

PMID:
27240845
DOI:
10.1007/s10653-016-9836-y
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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