Potential ecological and health risks of heavy metals for indoor and corresponding outdoor dust in Hefei, Central China

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • Li Zhou
  • Guijian Liu
  • Mengchen Shen
  • Yuan Liu


Original languageEnglish
Article number134864
Journal / PublicationChemosphere
Online published7 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


The harm caused by indoor dust has received increasing attention in recent years. However, current studies have ignored comparisons with the corresponding outdoor dust. This study aimed to investigate the distribution of heavy metals in indoor and corresponding outdoor dust and the ecological and health risks they pose in Hefei, Central China. We analyzed O/I (outdoor/indoor concentration ratios) values, background comparison, and correlation analysis (heavy metal concentrations vs. particle size) and found that Cu, Zn, and Cd mainly existed in indoor sources, while V, Co, and As mainly existed in outdoor sources, and both family sizes and floor number influenced the variation of O/I. Through a new potential ecological risk assessment method, we determined that Cd risk levels in indoor and outdoor dust were extreme and high to extreme, respectively. Additionally, the carcinogenic risks of Ni, As, and Cr were not negligible. The risk of indoor dust was higher than that of outdoor dust for the heavy metals studied, implying a poor indoor environment. Notably, indoor dust from families with smaller sizes, lower floors, and smokers had higher ecological and carcinogenic risks.

Research Area(s)

  • Health risks, Heavy metals, Indoor and outdoor dust, Potential ecological risks

Citation Format(s)