Environmental Geochemistry and Health

, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 583–593 | Cite as

Seasonal concentrations of lead in outdoor and indoor dust and blood of children in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

  • Gaber E. El-Desoky
  • Mourad A. M. Aboul-Soud
  • Zeid A. Al-Othman
  • Mohamed Habila
  • John P. Giesy
Original Paper


Because detrimental effects of exposure to lead (Pb) on human health have been observed, we previously investigated concentrations of Pb in water supplies and blood of adult residents of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The objectives of the present study were to: (1) examine seasonal rates of deposition of Pb in dust in several areas of Riyadh city, (2) measure concentrations of Pb in both outdoor and indoor dust, (3) compare concentrations of Pb in dust in Riyadh with those reported for other cities, and (4) quantify Pb in blood of children living in Riyadh. Mean, monthly deposition of PB in outdoor dust was 4.7 × 101 ± 3.6 tons km−2, with a mean Pb concentration of 2.4 × 102 ± 4.4 × 101 μg/g. Mean, monthly deposition of Pb in indoor dust was 2.7 ± 0.70 tons km−2, with a mean concentration of 2.9 × 101 ± 1.5 × 101 μg Pb/g. There was a significant (P < 0.01) correlation between concentrations of Pb in outdoor and indoor dust. There was no correlation between concentrations of Pb in indoor dust and that in blood of children of Riyadh, whereas there was a weakly significant (P < 0.05) correlation between concentrations of Pb in outdoor dust and that in blood of children. The mean (±SD) concentration of Pb in blood of children in Riyadh was 5.2 ± 1.7, with a range of 1.7–1.6 × 101 μg/dl. Concentrations of Pb in blood of 17.8 % of children in Riyadh were greater than 10 μg/dl, which is the CDC’s level of concern.


Middle East Urban Risk Hazard Pollution Metal Air 



The authors extend their appreciation to the Deanship of Scientific Research at King Saud University for funding the work through the research group project No RGP-VPP-130. Prof. Giesy was supported by the Canada Research Chair program, a Visiting Distinguished Professorship in the Department of Biology and Chemistry and State Key Laboratory in Marine Pollution, City University of Hong Kong, the 2012 “High Level Foreign Experts” (#GDW20123200120) program, funded by the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, the P.R. China, to Nanjing University and the Einstein Professor Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gaber E. El-Desoky
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mourad A. M. Aboul-Soud
    • 2
    • 3
  • Zeid A. Al-Othman
    • 1
  • Mohamed Habila
    • 1
  • John P. Giesy
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
  1. 1.Chemistry Department, College of ScienceKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.Biochemistry Department, Faculty of AgricultureCairo UniversityGizaEgypt
  3. 3.Chair of Medical and Molecular Genetics Research, Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, College of Applied Medical SciencesKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  4. 4.Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences and Toxicology CentreUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada
  5. 5.Department of Zoology, Center for Integrative ToxicologyMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  6. 6.Department of Biology and Chemistry and State Key Laboratory in Marine PollutionCity University of Hong KongKowloonChina
  7. 7.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of Hong KongKowloonChina
  8. 8.State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, School of the EnvironmentNanjing UniversityNanjingPeople’s Republic of China

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