Soil pollution evaluation and health risk assessment of heavy metals around Douroud cement factory, Iran

  • Ali Jafari
  • Mansour GhaderpooriEmail author
  • Bahram Kamarehi
  • Hossein Abdipour
Original Article


Industrial activates have contaminated the soils around the industries to some pollutants such as heavy metals. Nowadays, among the different industries, cement factories are of major environmental pollutant sources. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to evaluate the soil pollution to heavy metals around Douroud cement factory in terms of geo-accumulation index, pollution index, and integrated pollution index. Also, a health-risk assessment was carried out. Sampling was performed at intervals of 500 m, 1250 m, and 2000 m from the factory site. Soil samplings were taken from the depths of 0–10 cm and 10–20 cm from the top surface. The health-risk assessment regarding soil around the factory was assessed based on the USEPA procedure. The study results showed that the average concentrations of chromium, nickel, copper, lead and zinc in the soil around the cement factory were 115.77 mg/kg, 139.07 mg/kg, 80.47 mg/kg, 56.27 mg/kg, and 135.73 mg/kg, respectively. Also, the results showed that the concentration of the heavy metals in the top soil was significantly higher than subsurface sampling layers. Furthermore, the findings showed that the concentrations of all evaluated heavy metals were higher than the USEPA standard. The pollution index values in the soil around the cement factory were Cu > Pb > Zn > Ni > Cr. Based on this study, the daily intake rate of all the elements by oral ingestion route was higher than the inhalation and dermal contact routes. The hazard quotient values of all metals in all studied sampling points were < 1.


Health-risk assessment Soil pollution Cement factory Doroud Iran Heavy metals 

List of symbols


Geo-accumulation index


The geochemical background concentration of the metal


The measured concentration of the metal in sediment


The pollution index,


The concentration of each heavy metal (mg/kg)


The background value (mg/kg)


The mean values for all the PIs of all studied metals


Computed as the sum of all 6 risk factors for heavy metals in soils,


The monomial potential ecological risk factor for individual factors


The metal pollution factor


The metal toxic factor


The concentration of metal in the street dust


The reference value of a given metal


The concentration of each heavy metal in samples (mg/kg)


The background concentration (mg/kg)


The average daily intake of heavy metals ingested from soil (mg/kg-day)


The average daily intake of heavy metals inhaled from soil (mg/kg-day)


The exposure dose via dermal contact from soil (mg/kg-day)


Absorption Factor


Adherence Factor (mg/cm2)


Averaging time (day)


Body weight (kg)


Conversion factor (kg/mg)


Exposure duration (year)


Exposure frequency (day/year)


Particle emission factor (m3/kg)


Exposed skin surface area (cm2)


Ingestion rate (mg/day)


Inhalation rate (mg/day)


Hazard quotient


Hazard quotient through inhalation pathway


Hazard quotient through dermal contact pathway


Hazard quotient through all pathway


The corresponding reference doses


The corresponding reference dose through inhalation pathway


The corresponding reference dose through dermal contact pathway


The slope factor of the contaminant


The slope factor of the contaminant through inhalation pathway


Hazard index


Inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry


United States Environmental Protection Agency



The authors of this study are grateful for the funding of this research (project code: A-10-1412-3) by Lorestan University of Medical Sciences (LUMS).


  1. Addo M, Darko E, Gordon C, Nyarko B, Gbadago J, Nyarko E, Affum H, Botwe B (2012) Evaluation of heavy metals contamination of soil and vegetation in the vicinity of a cement factory in the Volta Region, Ghana. Int J Sci Technol 2(1):40–50Google Scholar
  2. Adejoh IP (2016) Assessment of heavy metal contamination of soil and cassava plants within the vicinity of a cement factory in north central, Nigeria. Adv Appl Sci Res 7(3):20–27Google Scholar
  3. Afsharnia M, Zarei A, Farhang M, Allahdadi M (2018) Non-carcinogenic risk assessment to human health due to intake of fluoride in the groundwater in rural areas of Gonabad and Bajestan, Iran: a case study AU—Qasemi, Mehdi. Hum Ecol Risk Assess. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Al-Khashman OA, Shawabkeh RA (2006) Metals distribution in soils around the cement factory in southern Jordan. Environ Pollut 140:387–394CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chabukdhara M, Nema AK (2013) Heavy metals assessment in urban soil around industrial clusters in Ghaziabad, India: probabilistic health risk approach. Ecotoxicol Environ Safety 87:57–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chen T-B, Zheng Y-M, Lei M, Huang Z-C, Wu H-T, Chen H, Fan K-K, Yu K, Wu X, Tian Q-Z (2005) Assessment of heavy metal pollution in surface soils of urban parks in Beijing, China. Chemosphere 60:542–551CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Darivasi S, Saeb K, Mollashahi M (2016) Effects of distance from pollutant sources on heavy metal concentrations around Neka cement factory soil. J Environ Sci Technol 17:33–44Google Scholar
  8. Fakhri Y, Saha N, Ghanbari S, Rasouli M, Miri A, Avazpour M, Rahimizadeh A, Riahi SM, Ghaderpoori M, Keramati H, Moradi B, Amanidaz N, Mousavi Khaneghah A (2018) Carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic health risks of metal (oid)s in tap water from Ilam city, Iran. Food Chem Toxicol 118:204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Farhadi M, Sicard P, De Marco A, Khoshgoftar M, Taiwo AM, Mohammadi MJ, Sadeghi S, Esmaeili S, Kamarehie B, Amrane A (2017) Hot spots of nox emission from the cement factory main stacks. Fresenius Environ Bull 26:8345–8552Google Scholar
  10. Ghaderpoori M, Najafpoor AA, Ghaderpoury A, Shams M (2018a) Data on fluoride concentration and health risk assessment of drinking water in Khorasan Razavi province, Iran. Data in Brief 18:1596CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ghaderpoori M, Jafari A, Ghaderpoury A, Karami M (2018b) Heavy metals analysis and quality assessment in drinking water—Khorramabad city, Iran. Data in Brief 16:685–692CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hong-gui D, Teng-feng G, Ming-hui L, Xu D (2012) Comprehensive assessment model on heavy metal pollution in soil. Int J Electrochem Sci 7:5286–5296Google Scholar
  13. Hosseini G, Teymouri P, Giahi O, Maleki A (2016) Health risk assessment of heavy metals in atmospheric PM10 in Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences campus. J Mazandaran Univ Med Sci 25:136–146Google Scholar
  14. Jafari A, Kamarehie B, Ghaderpoori M, Khoshnamvand N, Birjandi M (2017) The concentration data of heavy metals in Iranian grown and imported rice and human health hazard assessment. Data Brief 16:453–459CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kamani H, Mirzaei N, Ghaderpoori M, Bazrafshan E, Rezaei S, Mahvi AH (2018) Concentration and ecological risk of heavy metal in street dusts of Eslamshahr, Iran. J Hum Ecol Risk Assess 24:961–970CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kamunda C, Mathuthu M, Madhuku M (2016) Health risk assessment of heavy metals in soils from Witwatersrand gold mining basin, South Africa. Int J Environ Res Public Health 13:663–674CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Karim Z (2011) Risk assessment of dissolved trace metals in drinking water of Karachi. Pak Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 86:676–678CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kashem M, Singh B, Kondo T, Huq SI, Kawai S (2007) Comparison of extractability of Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn with sequential extraction in contaminated and non-contaminated soils. Int J Environ Sci Technol 4:169–176CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Keramati H, Ghorbani R, Fakhri Y, Mousavi Khaneghah A, Conti GO, Ferrante M, Ghaderpoori M, Taghavi M, Baninameh Z, Bay A, Golaki M, Moradi B (2018) Radon 222 in drinking water resources of Iran: a systematic review, meta-analysis and probabilistic risk assessment (Monte Carlo simulation). Food Chem Toxicol 115:460CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Maina H, Egila J, Nkafamiya I, Shagal M (2013) Impact of cement dust deposition on the elemental composition of soils in the vicinity of Ashaka cement factory. Nigeria Int Res J Agric Sci Soil Sci 3:66–74Google Scholar
  21. Malkoc S, Yazıcı B, Savas Koparal A (2010) Assessment of the levels of heavy metal pollution in roadside soils of Eskisehir, Turkey. Environ Toxicol Chem 29:2720–2725CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Mandal A, Voutchkov M (2011) Heavy metals in soils around the cement factory in Rockfort, Kingston, Jamaica. Int J Geosci 2:48–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Muller G (1969) Index of geoaccumulation in sediments of the Rhine River. J Geol 2:108–118Google Scholar
  24. Nourmoradi H, Omidi Khaniabadi Y, Goudarzi G, Jourvavd M, Nikmehr K (2016) Investigation on the dust dispersion (PM10 and PM2. 5) by Doroud Cement Plant and study of its individual exposure rates. J Ilam Univ Med Sci 24:64–75Google Scholar
  25. Okoro HK, Orimolade BO, Adebayo GB, Akande BA, Ximba BJ, Ngila JC (2017) An assessment of heavy metals contents in the soil around a cement factory in Ewekoro, Nigeria using pollution indices. Pol J Environ Stud 26:221–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Olowoyo JO, Mugivhisa LL, Busa NG (2015) Trace metals in soil and plants around a cement factory in Pretoria, South Africa. Pol J Environ Stud 24:2087–2093CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Princewill C, Adanma N (2011) Metal concentration in soil and plants in abandoned cement factory. In: International Conference on Biotechnology and Environment Management IPCBEE, Singapore, pp 146–150Google Scholar
  28. Qasemi M, Afsharnia M, Farhang M, Bakhshizadeh A, Allahdadi M, Zarei A (2018a) Health risk assessment of nitrate exposure in groundwater of rural areas of Gonabad and Bajestan, Iran. Environ Earth Sci 77:551CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Qasemi M, Farhang M, Biglari H, Afsharnia M, Ojrati A, Khani F, Samiee M, Zarei A (2018b) Health risk assessments due to nitrate levels in drinking water in villages of Azadshahr, northeastern Iran. Environ Earth Sci 77:782CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Qingjie G, Jun D, Yunchuan X, Qingfei W, Liqiang Y (2008) Calculating pollution indices by heavy metals in ecological geochemistry assessment and a case study in parks of Beijing. J China Univ Geosci 19:230–241CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Ravankhah N, Mirzaei R, Masoum S (2016) Human health risk assessment of heavy metals in surface soil. J Mazandaran Univ Med Sci 26:109–120Google Scholar
  32. Rezaei H, Jafari A, Kamarehie B, Fakhri Y, Ghaderpoury A, Karami MA, Ghaderpoor M, Shams M, Bidarpoor F, Salimi M (2018) Health-risk assessment related to the fluoride, nitrate, and nitrite in the drinking water in the Sanandaj, Kurdistan County, Iran. J Hum Ecol Risk Assess. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Rezaeian M, Moghadam MT (2016) Determination of heavy metal in agricultural soils near and far from the cement factory in Tehran, Iran. Iran J Toxicol 10:23–26Google Scholar
  34. Semhi K, Al-Khirbash S, Abdalla O, Khan T, Duplay J, Chaudhuri S, Al-Saidi S (2010) Dry atmospheric contribution to the plant–soil system around a cement factory: spatial variations and sources—a case study from Oman. Water Air Soil Pollut 205:343CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Wan D, Zhan C, Yang G, Liu X, Yang J (2016) Preliminary assessment of health risks of potentially toxic elements in settled dust over Beijing urban area. Int J Environ Res Public Health 13:491CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Zhong L, Liu L, Yang J (2010) Assessment of heavy metals contamination of paddy soil in Xiangyin county, China. In: Proceedings of the 19th World Congress of Soil Science: Soil solutions for a changing world, Brisbane, Australia, pp 1–6 August 2010 Symposium 41 2 Management and protection of receiving environments. International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS), c/o Institut für Bodenforschung, Universität für Bodenkultur, pp 17–20Google Scholar

Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ali Jafari
    • 1
  • Mansour Ghaderpoori
    • 1
    Email author
  • Bahram Kamarehi
    • 1
  • Hossein Abdipour
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Health and NutritionLorestan University of Medical SciencesKhorramabadIran

Personalised recommendations