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Lead distribution in urban street dust and the relationship with mining, gross domestic product GDP and transportation and health risk assessment

Chang, Xuan, Li, Ying-Xia
Environmental pollution 2020 v.262 pp. 114307
allometry, cities, crushing, dust, emissions, environmental Kuznets curve, gross domestic product, health effects assessments, human health, lead, mining, models, particle size, pollutants, pollution, risk, soil, spatial distribution, transportation, urban areas, China
Lead (Pb) is an important pollutant and it is of significance to explore the Pb distribution, influencing factors and health risk. Pb concentration and mass load per unit area in 385 street dust samples collected from 19 cities in China were determined during 2011-2013. The results show that the Pb concentration are 68.8, 105.4, 41.7, 49.7, 75.6, 81.7, 131.9, 67.5, 109.3, 164.1, 74.8, 66.4, 99.8, 58.4, 114.0, 59.6, 103.7, 55.4 and 80.4 for Beijing, Chengdu, Daqing, Harbin, Jilin, Jinan, Kunming, Lanzhou, Luoyang, Panzhihua, Qingdao, Yinchuan, Guangzhou, Tangshan, Xi’an, Guangyuan, Nanjing, Taiyuan and Tianjin, respectively. The Pb pollution level of urban street dust varies among cities in the range of 1.72–5.56 times higher than soil background values. The allometric function can fit the change in Pb concentration with particle size well. The medium-sized (38–120 μm) particles contributed 60.2%–80.4% to the Pb load and should be highlighted when selecting street dust management techniques. Influenced by the distribution of Pb ore, the Pb concentration of urban street dust in China shows obvious regional differences, with value in the south 112% higher than that in the north. Among all kinds of mining types, metal-related mining activities discharge a large amount of Pb dust in the process of crushing and smelting, thus contributing most to the Pb load. The Pb load was also affected by transportation. The relationship between Pb load and gross domestic product (GDP) was described with the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) model, which indicated that the Pb emissions of most cities were still increasing. Finally, the human health risk assessment model with adjusted parameters showed that the Pb risk of all cities was below the threshold. Despite all this, given the EKC law of Pb emission, long-term follow-up assessments are needed.