Characterizing pollution indices and children health risk assessment of potentially toxic metal(oid)s in school dust of Lahore, Pakistan

Rehman A., Liu G., Yousaf B., Zia-ur-Rehman M., Ali M. U., Rashid M. S., ...More

ECOTOXICOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SAFETY, vol.190, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 190
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2019.110059
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, PASCAL, Aerospace Database, Aqualine, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), Artic & Antarctic Regions, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, Chimica, Communication Abstracts, EMBASE, Environment Index, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, Geobase, Greenfile, MEDLINE, Metadex, Pollution Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: Potentially toxic metal(oid)s, Geo-accumulation index, Pollution index, Integrated pollution index, Pollution load index, Health risk assessment, HEAVY-METALS, TRACE-METALS, SPATIAL-DISTRIBUTION, STREET DUST, HUMAN EXPOSURE, ROAD DUST, ELEMENTS, ACCUMULATION, INDOOR, SOIL
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Toxic metal pollution is a renowned environmental concern, especially to sensitive environments like school classrooms and their association with children's health. The study was planned to determine the pollution characteristics of 13 potentially toxic metal (oid)s (PTMs) and their associated children's health risk assessment from school dust samples of considerably three land-use types (residential, roadside, and industrial areas) of Lahore, Pakistan. Geo-accumulation (I-geo), pollution (PI), integrated pollution (IPI) and pollution load (PLI) indexes were used to determine the PTMs contamination and USEPA health risk assessment models were employed to assess the health risks in children. The mean concentrations of Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn for three land use types were found much higher than the permissible limits. Results of pollution indices revealed that school dust was strongly contaminated with Cd, Pb, and Zn whilst moderately contaminated with Cr and Cu. Moreover, the health risk assessment models revealed no significant non-cancerous risks in children with predominantly highest hazardous index (HI) of Cr in industrial (4.61E-01) and Pb in both roadside (4.30E-01) and residential (2.26E-01) area schools. According to cumulative HI of all PTMs and exposure routes, the land-use areas were in descending order as industrial > roadside > residential. The calculations of hazardous quotient (HQ) showed ingestion was the leading pathway of PTMs exposure through school dust. For carcinogenic health risk (CR), the most prominent PTM was Cr with values of 1.53E-06 in industrial area schools, found close to the tolerable range (1.0E-06). Hence, school dust of Lahore prominently contaminated with eminent PTMs triggering slight health risks predominantly by ingestion exposure to children.