Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 1987–1998 | Cite as

Pollution characteristics, source apportionment, and health risk of heavy metals in street dust of Suzhou, China

  • Manli Lin
  • Herong Gui
  • Yao Wang
  • Weihua Peng
Research Article


To analyze the pollution characteristics, source apportionment, and health risk of heavy metals (HMs) in street dust of Suzhou, China, 23 sampling sites were selected and periodically sampled for 12 months. A total of 276 samples were collected, and the concentrations of selected HMs (e.g., Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Pb, V, and Zn) were examined with an X-ray fluorescence spectrum analyzer. Results showed that the mean concentrations of Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Pb, V, and Zn in the street dust of Suzhou were 112.9, 27.5, 19941.3, 410.3, 45.2, 75.6, and 225.3 mg kg−1, respectively. Cr, Cu, Pb, and Zn exceeded their background values in local natural soils by 1.3–3.6-fold, whereas Fe, Mn, and V were all within their background values. However, enrichment factor analysis revealed that Cr, Cu, Mn, Pb, V, and Zn, especially Cr, Cu, Pb, and Zn, were enriched in Suzhou street dust. The HMs showed no significant seasonal changes overall, but spatial distribution analysis implied that the high values of Cr, Cu, Mn, Pb, V, and Zn were mainly distributed in areas with frequent human activities. Results of multivariate techniques (e.g., Pearson correlation, hierarchical cluster, and principal components analyses) suggested that Pb and Zn had complicated sources; Cu and V mainly originated from traffic sources; Fe and Mn mainly came from natural sources; and Cr was dominantly related to industrial district. Health risk assessment revealed that a single heavy metal might not cause both non-cancer and carcinogenic risks to local residents. Nevertheless, the sum of the hazard index of all selected HMs for children slightly exceeded the safety value, thereby implying that the HMs from Suzhou street dust can possibly produce significant risk to children. Cr was the priority pollutant in the study area because of its high concentration, high enrichment, and high contribution to non-cancer risk values.


Street dust Heavy metal Pollution characteristic Source apportionment Health risk assessment Coal resource city 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41373095) and the open projects of collaborative innovation center of Suzhou regional development (2015SZXTZXKF04). The authors thank Muneeb Ur Rehman Muhammad from Beihang University for his help in the English revision of this study.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11356_2016_7934_MOESM1_ESM.docx (55 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 54 kb)


  1. Acevedo-Figueroa D, Jiménez BD, Rodríguez-Sierra CJ (2006) Trace metals in sediments of two estuarine lagoons from Puerto Rico. Environ Pollut 141:336–342. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2005.08.037 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Acosta JA, Faz A, Kalbitz K, Jansen B, Martínez-Martínez S (2014) Partitioning of heavy metals over different chemical fraction in street dust of Murcia (Spain) as a basis for risk assessment. J Geochem Explor 144:298–305. doi: 10.1016/j.gexplo.2014.02.004 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Adepoju MO, Adekoya JA (2013) Heavy metal distribution and assessment in stream sediments of River Orle, Southwestern Nigeria. Arab J Geosci 7:743–756. doi: 10.1007/s12517-013-0845-1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Benhaddya ML, Boukhelkhal A, Halis Y, Hadjel M (2016) Human health risks associated with metals from urban soil and road dust in an oilfield area of southeastern Algeria. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 70:556–571. doi: 10.1007/s00244-015-0244-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. BMRIEP (Bejing Municipal Research Institute of Environmental Protection) (2009) Environmental Site Assessment Guideline, DB11/T656–2009. Bejing Municipal Administration of Quality and Technology Supervision, Beijing (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  6. Bourliva A, Christophoridis C, Papadopoulou L, Giouri K, Papadopoulos A, Mitsika E, Fytianos K (2016) Characterization, heavy metal content and health risk assessment of urban road dusts from the historic center of the city of Thessaloniki. Greece Environ Geochem Health. doi: 10.1007/s10653-016-9836-y Google Scholar
  7. Chapman PM, Wang F (2001) Assessing sediment contamination in estuaries. Environ Toxicol Chem 20:3–22. doi: 10.1002/etc.5620200102 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chen H, Lu X, Li LY (2014) Spatial distribution and risk assessment of metals in dust based on samples from nursery and primary schools of Xi’an, China. Atmos Environ 88:172–182. doi: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2014.01.054 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. CNEMC (China National Environmental Monitoring Centre) (1990) Background values of elements in China soil. China Environmental Science Press, Beijing, pp. 342–378Google Scholar
  10. Dai S, Ren D, Chou CL, Finkelman RB, Seredin VV, Zhou Y (2012) Geochemistry of trace elements in Chinese coals: a review of abundances, genetic types, impacts on human health, and industrial utilization. Int J Coal Geol 94:3–21. doi: 10.1016/j.coal.2011.02.003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Du Y, Gao B, Zhou H, Ju X, Hao H, Yin S (2013) Health risk assessment of heavy metals in road dusts in urban parks of Beijing, China. Prog Environ Sci 18:299–309. doi: 10.1016/j.proenv.2013.04.039 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Harb MK, Ebqa’Ai M, Al-Rashidi A, Alaziqi BH, Rashdi MSA, Ibrahim B (2015) Investigation of selected heavy metals in street and house dust from Al-Qunfudah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Environ Earth Sci 74:1755–1763. doi: 10.1007/s12665-015-4184-2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hu B, Liu B, Zhou J, Guo J, Sun Z, Meng W, Guo X, Duan J (2016) Health risk assessment on heavy metals in urban street dust of Tianjin based on trapezoidal fuzzy numbers. Hum Ecol Risk Assess 22:678–692. doi: 10.1080/10807039.2015.1104625 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Huang J, Li F, Zeng G, Liu W, Huang X, Xiao Z, Wu H, Gu Y, Li X, He X, He Y (2016) Integrating hierarchical bioavailability and population distribution into potential eco-risk assessment of heavy metals in road dust: a case study in Xiandao District, Changsha city, China. Sci Total Environ 541:969–976. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.09.139 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hussain K, Rahman M, Prakash A, Hoque RR (2015) Street dust bound PAHs, carbon and heavy metals in Guwahati city—seasonality, toxicity and sources. Sustain Cities Soc 19:17–25. doi: 10.1016/j.scs.2015.07.010 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Keshavarzi B, Tazarvi Z, Rajabzadeh MA, Najmeddin A (2015) Chemical speciation, human health risk assessment and pollution level of selected heavy metals in urban street dust of Shiraz, Iran. Atmos Environ 119:1–10. doi: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2015.08.001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Khan MF, Latif MT, Saw WH, Amil N, Nadzir MSM, Sahani M, Tahir NM, Chung JX (2016) Fine particulate matter in the tropical environment: monsoonal effects, source apportionment, and health risk assessment. Atmos Chem Phys 16:597–617. doi: 10.5194/acp-16-597-2016 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kim JA, Park JH, Hwang WJ (2016) Heavy metal distribution in street dust from traditional markets and the human health implications. Int J Environ Res Public Health 13:820. doi: 10.3390/ijerph13080820 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kumar M, Furumai H, Kurisu F, Kasuga I (2013) Tracing source and distribution of heavy metals in road dust, soil and soakaway sediment through speciation and isotopic fingerprinting. Geoderma 11(212):8–17. doi: 10.1016/j.geoderma.2013.07.004 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Li H, Qian X, Wei H, Zhang R, Yang Y, Liu Z, Hu W, Gao H, Wang Y (2014) Magnetic properties as proxies for the evaluation of heavy metal contamination in urban street dusts of Nanjing, Southeast China. Geophys J Int 199:1354–1366. doi: 10.1093/gji/ggu253 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Li Q (2015) Water quality trend analysis and water quality evaluation of the main river in Suzhou City. Dissertation, AnHui University of Science and Technology, Huainan, pp 9-12. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  22. Li XY (2013) Influence of season change on the level of heavy metals in outdoor settled dusts in different functional areas of Guiyang City. Environ Sci 34:2407–2415 (in Chinese) doi: 0250-3301(2013)06-2407-09Google Scholar
  23. Lin ML, Peng WH, Gui HR (2016) Hydrochemical characteristics and quality assessment of deep groundwater from the coal-bearing aquifer of the Linhuan coal-mining district, Northern Anhui Province, China. Environ Monit Assess 188:202. doi: 10.1007/s10661-016-5199-1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lu X, Wang L, Li LY, Lei K, Huang L, Kang D (2010) Multivariate statistical analysis of heavy metals in street dust of Baoji, NW China. J Hazard Mater 173:744–749. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2009.09.001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lu X, Zhang X, Li LY, Chen H (2014) Assessment of metals pollution and health risk in dust from nursery schools in Xi’an, China. Environ Res 128:27–34. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2013.11.007 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ma J, Singhirunnusorn W (2012) Distribution and health risk assessment of heavy metals in surface dusts of Maha Sarakham Municipality. Procedia Social Behav Sci 50:280–293. doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.08.034 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Ma Z, Chen K, Li Z, Bi J, Huang L (2015) Heavy metals in soils and road dusts in the mining areas of Western Suzhou, China: a preliminary identification of contaminated sites. J Soils Sediments 16:204–214. doi: 10.1007/s11368-015-1208-1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ololade I (2014) An assessment of heavy-metal contamination in soils within auto-mechanic workshops using enrichment and contamination factors with geoaccumulation indexes. J Environ Prot 5:970–982. doi: 10.4236/jep.2014.511098 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. RAIS (Risk Assessment Information System) (2014) US Department of Energy’s, Oak Ridge Operations Office. Scholar
  30. Ren W, Geng Y, Ma Z, Sun L, Xue B, Fujita T (2015) Reconsidering brownfield redevelopment strategy in China’s old industrial zone: a health risk assessment of heavy metal contamination. Environ Sci Pollut Res 22:2765–2775. doi: 10.1007/s11356-014-3548-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Sahakyan L, Maghakyan N, Belyaeva O, Tepanosyan G, Kafyan M, Saghatelyan A (2016) Heavy metals in urban dust: contamination and health risk assessment: a case study from Gyumri, Armenia. Arab J Geosci 9:142. doi: 10.1007/s12517-015-2159-y CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Sun LH (2014) Lead pollution in response to transportation: a case study in the rural-urban fringe zone of suzhou, northern Anhui Province, China. J Chem Pharm Res 6:2370–2374 Google Scholar
  33. Tang RL, Ma KM, Zhang YX, Mao QZ (2012) Health risk assessment of heavy metals of street dust in Beijing. Acta Sci Circumstantiae 32:2006–2015 (in Chinese) doi: 0253-2468(2012)08-2006-10Google Scholar
  34. Tian HZ, Lu L, Hao JM, Gao JJ, Cheng K, Liu KY, Qiu PP, Zhu CY (2013) A review of key hazardous trace elements in Chinese coals: abundance, occurrence, behavior during coal combustion and their environmental impacts. Energy Fuel 27:601–614. doi: 10.1021/ef3017305 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. USEPA (United States Environment Protection Agency) (1989) Risk assessment guidance for superfund, vol I: Human health evaluation manual. EPA/540/1-89/002. Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  36. USEPA (United States Environment Protection Agency) (1996) Soil screening guidance: technical background document, EPA/540/R–95/128, Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response: Washington.Google Scholar
  37. USEPA (United States Environment Protection Agency) (2002) Supplemental guidance for developing soil screening levels for superfund sites. OSWER 9355.4-24. Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  38. Wan D, Zhan C, Yang G, Liu X, Yang J (2016) Preliminary assessment of health risks of potentially toxic elements in settled dust over Beijing urban area. Int J Environ Res Public Health 13:491. doi: 10.3390/ijerph13050491 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Wang K, Li QC (2014) Seasonal variation of heavy metals and health risk assessment in street dust in Wuhan. Chin J Soil Sci 45:716–721 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  40. Xiang L, Li Y, Yang Z, Shi J (2010) Seasonal difference and availability of heavy metals in street dust in Beijing. J Environ Sci Health Part A 45:1092–1100 . doi: 10.1080/10934529.2010.486340 doi CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Xin W, Bo G, Peng W, Zhou H, Jin L (2015) Pollution characteristics and health risk assessment of heavy metals in street dusts from different functional areas in Beijing, China. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 112:186–192. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2014.11.005 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Yang M, Li XY (2014) Dynamic changes and cause analysis of heavy metals in street dust in Guiyang City, China. Acta Sci Circumst 34:2070–2076 in ChineseGoogle Scholar
  43. Yap CK, Pang BH (2011) Assessment of Cu, Pb, and Zn contamination in sediment of north western Peninsular Malaysia by using sediment quality values and different geochemical indices. Environ Monit Assess 183:23–39. doi: 10.1007/s10661-011-1903-3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Yekeen TA, Xu X, Zhang Y, Wu Y, Kim S, Reponen T, Dietrich KN, Ho S, Chen A, Huo X (2016) Assessment of health risk of trace metal pollution in surface soil and road dust from e-waste recycling area in China. Environ Sci Pollut Res. doi: 10.1007/s11356-016-6896-6 Google Scholar
  45. Yeung ZLL, Kwok RCW, Yu KN (2003) Determination of multi-element profiles of street dust using energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF). Appl Radiat Isot 58:339–346. doi: 10.1016/S0969-8043(02)00351-2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Yuan XT, Zhang CL (2013) Distribution and evaluation on potential ecological risk of heavy metals in soils of Suzhou. Chin J Soil Sci 44:232–235 (in Chinese) doi: 0564-3945(2013)01-0232-04Google Scholar
  47. Zhang C, Qiao Q, Appel E, Huang B (2012) Discriminating sources of anthropogenic heavy metals in urban street dusts using magnetic and chemical methods. J Geochem Explor 119–120:60–75. doi: 10.1016/j.gexplo.2012.06.014 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Zhang J, Deng H, Wang D, Chen Z, Xu S (2013) Toxic heavy metal contamination and risk assessment of street dust in small towns of Shanghai suburban area, China. Environ Sci Pollut Res 20:323–232. doi: 10.1007/s11356-012-0908-y CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Zheng N, Liu J, Wang Q, Liang Z (2010) Health risk assessment of heavy metal exposure to street dust in the zinc smelting district, Northeast of China. Sci Total Environ 408:726–733. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2009.10.075 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manli Lin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Herong Gui
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yao Wang
    • 3
  • Weihua Peng
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Resources and Civil EngineeringSuzhou UniversitySuzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.National Engineering Research Center of Coal Mine Water Hazard ControllingSuzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.College of Resources and EnvironmentNortheast Agricultural UniversityHarbinPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.School of Space and EnvironmentBeihang UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

Personalised recommendations