Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 11, pp 11387–11398 | Cite as

Characterization and risk assessment of heavy metals in road dust from a developing city with good air quality and from Shanghai, China

  • Xiaojia Chen
  • Meixiu Guo
  • Jingjing Feng
  • Shan Liang
  • Deming Han
  • Jinping ChengEmail author
Research Article


To investigate the differences in characteristics of heavy metals associated with different levels of ambient air quality, we collected road dust samples from Beihai (BH) and Shanghai (SH). The mean concentrations of Ni, Cr, Zn, and Cu in BH samples were one to four times the background concentrations in soil, whereas the concentrations of Cd, Cr, Mn, Zn, Cu, and Pb in SH were one to three times the background concentrations. The geo-accumulation index (Igeo) indicated widespread moderate contamination by Zn and high contamination near industrial areas by Ni and Cr in BH, whereas in SH was partly moderately contaminated by Pb, Cu, and Zn. The potential ecological risk index (\( {E}_r^i \)) indicated the low risk posed by all metals in both BH and SH. However, special attention should be given to the maximal \( {E}_r^i \) values, such as considerable risk for Hg (\( {E}_r^i \) = 148.7) and high risk for Ni (254.1) in BH, respectively. According to the health risk assessment results, there were no non-carcinogenic or carcinogenic risks (CR) posed by heavy metals in road dust collected from BH and SH. Non-carcinogenic risks due to Cr for children in both BH (0.36) and SH (0.24) were relatively high compared to other metals, and a maximal CR value for Cr (2.7 × 10−6) was found to pose a potential carcinogenic risk near the industrial area in BH. Compared with those in developed cities, the health risks in BH related to Cu, Pb, and Zn from motor vehicle emissions were relatively low, but those related to Ni and Cr from local industrial activity in road dust were relatively high.


Road dust Heavy metals Risk assessment 


Funding information

This study was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 21777094 and 21577090).

Supplementary material

11356_2019_4550_MOESM1_ESM.docx (265 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 264 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaojia Chen
    • 1
  • Meixiu Guo
    • 2
  • Jingjing Feng
    • 1
  • Shan Liang
    • 1
  • Deming Han
    • 1
  • Jinping Cheng
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Environmental Science and EngineeringShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Beihai Environmental Protection BureauBeihaiChina

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