Assessing the Human Health Risk for Aluminium, Zinc and Lead in Outdoor Dusts Collected in Recreational Sites used by Children at an Industrial Area in the Western part of the Bassin Minier de Provence, France
The Western part of the "Bassin Minier de Provence", a former coal mining area, is still occupied by old polluting industries such as a coal-fired power plant and an alumina factory. In 2011 a preliminary outdoor dust survey was carried out in the area as the first step to an exposure and health risk assessment study. Dust samples were taken at 19 sites distributed across the study area, depending on the location of recreational areas used by children to play outdoors. Pseudo-total concentrations of Al, Zn and Pb were determined by ICP-MS and bioaccessible concentrations were estimated using the Unified BARGE Method. Exposure was calculated according to a scenario evaluation approach for dust ingestion and dermal contact routes. Estimation of health risk for exposure to Al, Zn and Pb in outdoor dust was based on the summation of individual risks for the oral and dermal routes. Results show that Al occurs in very high concentrations but mainly innon-bioaccessible forms, especially near the alumina plant. Zinc and Pb occur in low-average levels but mainly in bioaccessible forms. The estimated potential risk decreases according to Pb » Al > Zn and is lower for the ingestion route. The preliminary results presented in this study indicate that, for Al and Zn, the outdoor dusts of the BMP represent an acceptable risk to children's health. However, the estimated hazard quotients suggest that there is some health risk associated to environmental Pb.