Size-fractionated particle-bound heavy metals and perfluoroalkyl substances in dust from different indoor air.

By Xingwen Lu, Yao Cheng, Mingdeng Xiang, Tianshi Liu, Ying Guo, and Fei Wang
Environ Sci Pollut Res Int
November 25, 2019
DOI: 10.1007/s11356-019-06559-z

The indoor air quality issue and its potential health problems are attracting increasingly attentions. In this study, micro-orifice uniform deposit impactor (MOUDI) was used to sample suspended particles from four typical indoor environments, including residence, office, cyber classroom, and chemical analysis room. Size-dependent concentrations of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) and heavy metals in suspended particles were analyzed. Then, the International Commission on Radiological Protection deposition model was employed to estimate deposition efficiencies and fluxes of size-fractioned PFASs and heavy metals in the human respiratory tract. Most of the contaminants deposited in head airways, where coarse particles (aerodynamic diameter or Dp > 1.8 μm) contributed the most. By contrast, in the alveolar region fine particles (Dp < 1.8 μm) were dominant. The chronic daily intake through inhalation of PFASs and heavy metals via airborne particles were 10.3-37.5 pg kgdays and 3.1-25.9 mg kgdays, respectively. The estimated total hazardous quotient of PFASs and heavy metals were 4.4 × 10-1.7 × 10 and 9.9 × 10-1.05 × 10, which is far lower than the acceptable threshold of 1. However, the incremental lifetime cancer risk induced by As, Cd, Co, Cr, and Ni were estimated to be 1.11 × 10-1.41 × 10 in total, which exceeded the acceptable threshold of 10. These findings implicate that there were health risks, especially cancer risks caused by heavy metals associated with airborne particles in urban indoor environments.

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