Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 126–140 | Cite as

Pollution assessment and health risks evaluation of (metalloid) heavy metals in urban street dust of 58 cities in China

  • Zhang Zhaoyong
  • Anwar Mamat
  • Zibibula Simayi
Research Article


In this research, we conducted a statistical analysis of ten (metalloid) heavy metals, including Cu, Hg, Cd, Zn, Pb, As, Ni, Cr, Co, and Mn in urban dust of 58 cities in China from 2000 to 2018, and then we analyzed the statistic characters, pollution statue, and health risks of ten heavy metals. Results showed that (1) the maximum (average) values of ten (metalloid) heavy metals in the street dust of 58 Chinese cities all exceeded Chinese background values, and there were obvious differences in contents of heavy metals of Hg, Zn, Co, Cr, and As between industry cities and common cities. A provincial spatial distribution analysis revealed large variations of distributions of heavy metals Cu, Zn, Pb, and Cr, which distributed in cities mainly located in southern, central, and eastern China, ranging from relatively low to high levels, while Ni, Co, and Mn mainly distributed in southern and central China. This is mainly associated with the mining of the cities. (2) Igeo analysis showed that there was no obvious Ni, Mn, or Co pollution in street dust, while the other tested heavy metals had a range of low to high levels of pollution, in particular, seven metals among them had low to extremely strong levels of pollution (Igeo values between 0 and 7.154), and the average Igeo values were in the following order: Cd > Hg > Zn > Pb > Cu > As>Cr > Mn > Co > Ni. (3) Health risks evaluation showed that of the three exposure ways, the HQing from hand-mouth intake was the most common exposure route for both children and adults, especially for children, followed by skin absorption and respiration ways. This research showed that the HI value for children was higher than 1, indicative of no carcinogenic risks, while the HI values for both male and female were lower than 1, indicative of carcinogenic risks; calculation of carcinogenic risk through respiratory route showed that the risks of five elements were within the range 10−6–10−4, indicative of carcinogenic risk, among which Cr accounting exceeded 90% of total, which needs to be paid more attention to.


Urban dusts (Metalloid) heavy metals Pollution levels Health risks China 


Funding information

This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41501541; U1603241), the High-level Talent Introductory Program of the Xinjiang Autonomous Region (2016), the National Natural Science Foundation of Xinjiang (No. 2017D01C066), the Doctoral Startup Fund of Xinjiang University (No. 62346), and the Scientific Research Startup Project for College Teachers of the Xinjiang Autonomous Region (XJEDU2017S007).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhang Zhaoyong
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Anwar Mamat
    • 4
  • Zibibula Simayi
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.College of Resource and Environmental SciencesXinjiang UniversityUrumqiPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Xinjiang Common University Key Laboratory of Smart City and Environmental StimulationXinjiang UniversityUrumqiPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Oasis Ecology, Ministry of EducationXinjiang UniversityUrumqiPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.College of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringXinjiang UniversityUrumqiPeople’s Republic of China

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