Health risk assessment of heavy metals in indoor dust from Bushehr, Iran

Saeed Ardashiri, Seyed Enayat Hashemi


Environmental contamination with heavy metals is one of the main concerns on a global scale and the risk related to exposure to heavy metals present in indoor dust is considered as a serious threat to human health. Therefore, the purpose of the current research was to evaluate the heavy metals concentrations in indoor dust and their potential risks in urban areas in Bushehr city, Iran. Fifty-four indoor dust samples were collected from different buildings including lab rooms, offices, school rooms and households within the Bushehr City, during May – July 2016 and analyzed using ICP-AES (Arcousmodel, Germany). The sum of hazard quotient (hazard quotient (HQs) for heavy metals for adults declined in the order of Cr > Cd > Cu >Ni > Zn > Pb for the household while the order of ΣHQ for trace metals for adults in offices is Cr > Cd > Ni >Cu > Zn > Pb. Moreover, the values ΣHQ for trace metals for children declined in the order of Cr > Cd > Zn > Ni > Cu > Pb for the schools while the order of ΣHQ for trace metals for children in households is Cd > Zn >Cu > Cd > Ni > Cr > Pb. For all heavy metals, the HQs was about an order of magnitude higher for children than for adults. These findings can be attributed to the more vulnerability of children to the toxic substances.


Indoor Dust; Heavy Metals; Risk Assessment; Bushehr

Full Text:



Mitchell CS, Zhang J, Sigsgaard T, Jantunen M, Lioy PJ, Samson R, et al. Current state of the science: health effects and indoor environmental quality. Environmental health perspectives. 2007; 115(6): 958–64.

Wu F, Jacobs D, Mitchell C, Miller D, Karol MH. Improving indoor environmental quality for public health: impediments and policy recommendations. Environmental health perspectives. 2007; 115(6): 953–57.

Nastov J, Dingle P, Tan R. The use of fibre technology to control surface dust and bacteria contamination: School of Environmental Science, Murdoch University; 2003.

Olujimi O, Steiner O, Goessler W. Pollution indexing and health risk assessments of trace elements in indoor dusts from classrooms, living rooms and offices in Ogun State, Nigeria. Journal of African Earth Sciences. 2015;101(1):396-04.

Chattopadhyay G, Lin KC-P, Feitz AJ. Household dust metal levels in the Sydney metropolitan area. Environmental Research. 2003;93(3):301-07.

Al-Momani IF. Trace elements in street and household dusts in Amman, Jordan. Soil & Sediment Contamination. 2007;16(5):485-96.

Rasmussen PE. Can metal concentrations in indoor dust be predicted from soil geochemistry? Canadian journal of analytical sciences and spectroscopy. 2004;49(3):166-74.

Zheng N, Liu J, Wang Q, Liang Z. Health risk assessment of heavy metal exposure to street dust in the zinc smelting district, Northeast of China. Science of the Total Environment. 2010;408(4):726-33.

Zheng J, Chen K-h, Yan X, Chen S-J, Hu G-C, Peng X-W, et al. Heavy metals in food, house dust, and water from an e-waste recycling area in South China and the potential risk to human health. Ecotoxicology and environmental safety. 2013;96:205-12.

Chirenje T, Ma LQ, Lu L. Retention of Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn by wood ash, lime and fume dust. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution. 2006;171(1-4):301-14.

Inyang HI, Bae S. Impacts of dust on environmental systems and human health. Journal of hazardous materials. 2006;132(1): 5-6.

Shi G, Chen Z, Bi C, Wang L, Teng J, Li Y, et al. A comparative study of health risk of potentially toxic metals in urban and suburban road dust in the most populated city of China. Atmospheric Environment. 2011;45(3):764-71.

Divrikli U, Soylak M, Elci L, Dogan M. The investigation of trace heavy metal concentrations in the street dust samples collected from Kayseri, Turkey. Journal of Trace and Microprobe Techniques. 2003;21(4):713-20.

Kefeni KK, Okonkwo JO. Trace metals, anions and polybromodiphenyl ethers in settled indoor dust and their association. Environ Sci Pollut Res. 2013; 20(7):4895-05.

Rasmussen P, Subramanian K, Jessiman B. A multi-element profile of house dust in relation to exterior dust and soils in the city of Ottawa, Canada. Science of the Total Environment. 2001;267(1):125-40.

Kurt-Karakus PB. Determination of heavy metals in indoor dust from Istanbul, Turkey: estimation of the health risk. Environment international. 2012;50:47-55.

Tong ST, Lam KC. Home sweet home? A case study of household dust contamination in Hong Kong. Science of the Total Environment. 2000;256(2):115-23.

Kim N, Fergusson J. Concentrations and sources of cadmium, copper, lead and zinc in house dust in Christchurch, New Zealand. Science of the Total Environment. 1993;138(1):1-21.

Hejami AA. Heavy metals in indoor dust settled in toronto, canada. MSc in Chemistry, Al-Nahrain University, Baghdad, Iraq. 1995.

Turner A, Hefzi B. Levels and bioaccessibilities of metals in dusts from an arid environment. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution. 2010;210(1-4):483-91.

Lisiewicz M, Heimburger R, Golimowski J. Granulometry and the content of toxic and potentially toxic elements in vacuum-cleaner collected, indoor dusts of the city of Warsaw. Science of the Total Environment. 2000;263(1):69-78.

Darus FM, Nasir RA, Sumari SM, Ismail ZS, Omar NA. Heavy metals composition of indoor dust in nursery schools building. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences. 2012;38 (1) :169-75.

Tan SY, Praveena SM, Abidin EZ, Cheema MS. A review of heavy metals in indoor dust and its human health-risk implications. Reviews on Environmental Health. 2016;31(4):447-56.

Moya J, Bearer CF, Etzel RA. Children’s behavior and physiology and how it affects exposure to environmental contaminants. Pediatrics. 2004;113(Supplement 3):996-06.

Tong ST, Lam KC. Are nursery schools and kindergartens safe for our kids? The Hong Kong study. Science of the Total Environment. 1998;216(3):217-25.

Latif MT, Yong SM, Saad A, Mohamad N, Baharudin NH, Mokhtar MB, et al. Composition of heavy metals in indoor dust and their possible exposure: a case study of preschool children in Malaysia. Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health. 2014;7(2):181-93.

Iranian Journal of Health, Safety and Environment e-ISSN: :2345-5535 Iran university of Medical sciences, Tehran, Iran