Environmental Geochemistry and Health

, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 1237–1246 | Cite as

Exposure assessment of particulate matter and blood chromium levels in people living near a cement plant

  • Sung Ho Hwang
  • Jae Bum Park
  • Kyung Jong LeeEmail author
Original Paper


This study evaluates the effect of air pollution caused by cement plants on nearby residential areas and performs an exposure assessment of particulate matter (PM) and total Cr, Cr6+, Pb, and Al. Further, the blood Cr levels of residents exposed to PM released by cement plants are also assessed. Nine buildings (eight residential and one elementary school building) close to cement plants were selected for this study, which were located in Pyeongtaek port, in west of Gyeonggi Province, South Korea. A total of 51 suspended particulate samples were collected at a flow rate of 2.0 L/min. Total Cr was more widely detected in residents’ houses and elementary schools. PM levels were higher at distances of 4.1 and 4.8 km than those at closer distances of 2.7 km. This was due to the influence of wind direction. The estimated mean blood level of Cr for the study participants was 3.80 μg/L, which is higher than levels estimated by other studies on Cr blood levels. Therefore, cement plants could cause an increase in total Cr and blood Cr levels in residential areas, and more continuous monitoring is necessary to better understand their impacts.


Cement plant Particulate matter Metal Blood chromium 



This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (2015R1C1A1A02037363).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sung Ho Hwang
    • 1
  • Jae Bum Park
    • 2
  • Kyung Jong Lee
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.National Cancer Control Institute, National Cancer CenterGoyang-siSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, School of MedicineAjou UniversitySuwonSouth Korea

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