Concentration and risk assessment of toxic metals in indoor dust in selected schools in Southeast, Nigeria

Kenechukwu E. Ugwu, Anthony C. Ofomatah
2021 SN Applied Sciences  
AbstractThe health risk of students' exposure to some potentially toxic metals in classroom dusts in Southeast, Nigeria was assessed. Dust particles were collected from classrooms in some public high schools and digested with aqua regia before analysis for selected metals by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The geoaccumulation index, contamination factor and the pollution load index were assessed from the metal concentrations of the dust. Hazard quotient and cancer risk index were used to
more » ... ndex were used to estimate the potential health risk of students' exposure to the metals in the dust. The metal concentrations (mg/kg) were in the ranges of 1.57–175.38 (Cr); 0.93–463.28 (Cu); 31.94.76–6623.41 (Fe); 4.96–143.98 (Ni); 2.64–375.27 (Zn); and 2.35–53.96 (Pb).The geo-accumulation index values showed that all the dust samples were polluted with Fe and Cr; and unpolluted with other metals with few exemptions. The contamination factor values showed that all the schools but one had a low contamination status due to Ni and Cu. There was moderate contamination by Pb at all the schools but two. All the schools had high contamination of Cr and Fe. The pollution load index indicated that the quality of all the classrooms was deteriorated. The calculated values of hazard quotient indicated that ingestion of dust at most of the classrooms would have no significant risk of non-carcinogenic effects on the health of the students. Dermal contact with the dust at all the classrooms would expose students to adverse effects of Fe. There will be adverse effect due to Pb for dermal contact with dust at most of the schools. Ingestion of dust particles at classrooms in all the schools would have carcinogenic effect due to Ni. Correlation analysis indicated that the sources of the metals varied. This study provided baseline data for relevant bodies to use in monitoring and controlling pollution so as to protect students from toxic metals.
doi:10.1007/s42452-020-04099-7 fatcat:yoxhc5ls45chnozajctlacknmi