Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 74, Issue 2, pp 1755–1763 | Cite as

Investigation of selected heavy metals in street and house dust from Al-Qunfudah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

  • Mohammad K. Harb
  • Mohammad Ebqa’ai
  • Awad Al-rashidi
  • Bakri H. Alaziqi
  • Mohammed S. Al Rashdi
  • Bashar Ibrahim
Original Article


In order to investigate the levels of selected heavy metals and propose the causes for the presence of these metals in street and house dust of Al-Qunfudah province (Saudi Arabia), one hundred dust samples were collected, digested and analyzed. All collected samples were digested using Leeds Public Analyst method. The concentrations of heavy metals (Fe, Cu, Mn, Zn, Cd, Co and Pb) were analyzed using atomic absorption spectroscopy. Six heavy metals (Fe, Cu, Mn, Zn, Co and Pb) were measured in all samples; the concentration of Cd was not detected in Al-Qunfudah dust by atomic absorption spectroscopy. Generally, house dust samples have lower concentrations for Fe and Pb compared to the street dust samples. Conversely, Cu, Mn, Co and Zn have higher concentrations in house dust samples compared to the street dust samples. The street heavy metal levels increase according to the following descending order: Fe>Mn>Zn>Cu>Pb>Co. The values of heavy metals in dust samples in this study were compared with values found in other investigations within the country and in various other countries. The correlation coefficients and enrichment factors relative to earth crust abundances of heavy metals were calculated in order to predict the possible sources in dust. Health risk, the hazard index (HI), values for all studied elements were lower than safe limit of 1 indicating that there is no potential health risk due to exposure to heavy metals from outdoor dust in the study area.


Heavy metals Environment Pollution Atomic absorption Saudi Arabia 



The authors would like to thank Sharif Alghazo for his expertise in proofreading the manuscript. This work was supported by the institute of scientific research and revival of islamic heritage at Umm Al-Qura University (Project ID: 43405042).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohammad K. Harb
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mohammad Ebqa’ai
    • 1
    • 2
  • Awad Al-rashidi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Bakri H. Alaziqi
    • 1
  • Mohammed S. Al Rashdi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Bashar Ibrahim
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry, University College in Al-QunfudahUmm Al-Qura UniversityMakkah Al-MukarramahSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.Al-Qunfudah Center for Scientific Research (QCSR)Al-QunfudahSaudi Arabia
  3. 3.Bio System Analysis GroupFriedrich-Schiller-University Jena, and Jena Centre for Bioinformatics (JCB)JenaGermany

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