CUED Publications database

Spatial distribution of lead contamination in soil and equipment dust at children's playgrounds in Beijing, China

Peng, T and O'Connor, D and Zhao, B and Jin, Y and Zhang, Y and Tian, L and Zheng, N and Li, X and Hou, D (2019) Spatial distribution of lead contamination in soil and equipment dust at children's playgrounds in Beijing, China. Environmental Pollution, 245. pp. 363-370. ISSN 0269-7491

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© 2018 Elsevier Ltd Lead contamination is widespread across China, posing a serious public health concern. In quantifying child lead exposure, established health risk assessment (HRA) approaches often take into account residential soil lead levels. However, this may not constitute a significant exposure source for children in urban mainland China, where the population mainly dwell in high-rise buildings without back or front yards. In this setting, children's playgrounds may represent a more probable exposure source. The present study analyzed lead levels in settled dust on playground equipment and in surficial soils at 71 playgrounds in Beijing, China. Our results reveal that the average playground dust lead concentration was 80.5 mg/kg, more than twice the average soil lead concentration of 36.2 mg/kg. It was found that there are differences in statistical and spatial distributions for lead in playground dust and soils. Lead levels in equipment dust were largely consistent across Beijing, with elevated levels detected at locations in the main city area, the newly developed Tongzhou District, and the rural counties. Whereas average soil lead concentrations were higher at playgrounds in the main city area than other areas of Beijing. Statistical analysis suggests that the lead content in dust and soil may derive from different natural and anthropogenic sources. Equipment dust lead may be associated with long-distance atmospheric transportation and deposition. Whereas lead in soil is more likely to be associated with local traffic. This study also found that, in certain areas of Beijing, the risk of blood lead levels (BLLs) exceeding safe levels was up to 6 times higher when based on dust exposure than when based on playground soil exposure. The results of this study suggests that HRA undertaken for children in urban mainland China should pay closer attention to children's playgrounds as a lead exposure source, and, in particular, playground equipment dust. Lead in equipment dust at children's playgrounds poses a much higher health risk than surficial soil in Beijing, China.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Blood lead levels Community children's playground Dust Lead Beijing Child China Dust Environmental Monitoring Housing Humans Lead Parks, Recreational Soil Soil Pollutants Surface Properties
Divisions: Div D > Geotechnical and Environmental
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2018 20:07
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2020 05:51
DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2018.11.011