Soil and indoor dust as environmental media of human exposure to As, Cd, Cu, and Pb near a copper smelter in central Chile.

Affiliation

Escuela de Agronomía, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Quillota, Chile. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

In the present study, we assessed the non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic human health risk due to exposure to trace elements in soil and indoor dust in Puchuncaví valley. We also determined the associations between trace element concentration in hair/toenails and the estimated chronic daily intake of trace elements in soil and indoor dust. We found statistically significant association between the trace element concentration in hair/toenails and the estimated chronic daily intake of soil and indoor dust. Indoor dust was more important than soil in terms of human exposure to trace elements in Puchuncaví, due to the high concentration of trace elements on this environmental media and long periods of time that the population spends at their households. With regards to non-carcinogenic risk, we found that there was no health risk associated to soil and indoor dust exposure in the Puchuncaví valley, because none of the hazard quotient values surpassed 1.0. However, carcinogenic risk due to arsenic exposure was above the threshold value of 1.0E-04 in the population of young children (from 1 to 5 years old) in all studied areas, including the control, and in the population of children (from 6 to <18 years old) in the exposed area. Such risk values are classified as unacceptable (US EPA, 2001), requiring some target intervention from the Chilean government.

Keywords

Carcinogenic risk,House dust,Human health,Non-carcinogenic risk,Soil,Ventanas smelter,

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