Environmental Geochemistry and Health

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 89–99 | Cite as

Geochemistry and health risk assessment of arsenic exposure to street dust in the zinc smelting district, Northeast China

  • Sujuan Xu
  • Na Zheng
  • Jingshuang Liu
  • Yang Wang
  • Shouzhi Chang
Original Paper


The aim of this study was to investigate arsenic (As) accumulation in street dust and health risk of population. The investigation concentrated on: a. pollution levels of As in street dust; b. spatial distribution of As in street dust; c. physicochemical properties analysis of street dust; and d. assessment of population health risk due to As exposure to street dust. As concentration in street dust ranged from 3.33 to 185.1 mg kg−1, with a mean of 33.10 mg kg−1, which was higher than the background value of Liaoning soil. As contamination level of the area closing to Huludao Zinc Plant (HZP) was highest. Spatial variation showed that the pollution center was close to HZP, formed radial distribution pattern and extended to the northeast and southwest of HZP. The pH and organic matter of street dust were both higher than the background values of soil in Liaoning. There was significantly negative correlation between As concentration and the pH. The mass percentages of particles 180–100, <100–75, <75–63, and <63 μm were 29.8, 3.7, 21.3, and 4.2 %, respectively. The highest of As concentration was found in the smallest particle size (<63 μm). As loadings in the particles of grain size 180–100 and <75–63 μm were higher than other particle fractions. Results of the risk assessment indicated that the highest risk was associated with the ingestion of street dust particles. Health risk for different use scenarios to human decreased in the order of HZP > Industrial district > School > Commercial center > Residential area. Around HZP, Hazard Index (HI) for children and cancer risk of As by street dust exposure exceeded the acceptable values. It indicated that there was a potential adverse effect on children health by As exposure to the street dust of Huludao.


As Street dust Spatial distribution Pollution Health risk 



The authors would like to acknowledge the support of the Science Innovation Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. KZCX2-YW-QN306) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41171392 and 40803021).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sujuan Xu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Na Zheng
    • 1
  • Jingshuang Liu
    • 1
  • Yang Wang
    • 1
  • Shouzhi Chang
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Northeast Institute of Geography and Agricultural EcologyChinese Academy of SciencesChangchun CityChina
  2. 2.Graduate University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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