Environmental Geochemistry and Health

, Volume 39, Issue 6, pp 1469–1486 | Cite as

Rare earth elements in street dust and associated health risk in a municipal industrial base of central China

  • Guangyi Sun
  • Zhonggen Li
  • Ting Liu
  • Ji Chen
  • Tingting Wu
  • Xinbin Feng
Original Paper


The content levels, distribution characteristics, and health risks associated with 15 rare earth elements (REEs) in urban street dust from an industrial city, Zhuzhou, in central China were investigated. The total REE content (∑REE) ranged from 66.1 to 237.4 mg kg−1, with an average of 115.9 mg kg−1, which is lower than that of Chinese background soil and Yangtze river sediment. Average content of the individual REE in street dust decreased in the order Ce > La > Nd > Y > Pr > Sm > Gd > Dy > Er > Yb > Eu > Ho > Tb > Tm > Lu. The chondrite-normalized REE pattern indicated light REE (LREE) enrichment, a relatively steep LREE trend, heavy REE (HREE) depletion, a flat HREE trend, a Eu-negative anomaly and a Ce-positive anomaly. Foremost heavy local soil and to less degree anthropogenic pollution are the main sources of REE present in street dust. Health risk associated with the exposure of REE in street dust was assessed based on the carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic effect and lifetime average daily dose. The obtained cancer and non-cancer risk values prompt for no augmented health hazard. However, children had greater health risks than that of adults.


Rare earth elements Street dust Distribution pattern Sources Health risk assessment 



We are very grateful to the anonymous reviewers and editors for their constructive comments and suggestions which improve our manuscript greatly. We also thank Huihang Zhao and Bo Wang for the help of drawing. The authors would like to acknowledge the support of the National Key Basic Research Program of China (No. 2013CB430001) and the Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41373056).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guangyi Sun
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zhonggen Li
    • 1
  • Ting Liu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Ji Chen
    • 1
    • 4
  • Tingting Wu
    • 1
    • 5
  • Xinbin Feng
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Institute of GeochemistryChinese Academy of SciencesGuiyangChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Institute of HydrobiologyChinese Academy of SciencesWuhanChina
  4. 4.Guizhou Provincial Laboratory for Mountainous EnvironmentGuizhou Normal UniversityGuiyangChina
  5. 5.Key Laboratory of Karst Environment and Geohazard PreventionGuizhou UniversityGuiyangChina

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