Dust-borne trace elements pose potential risks to human health. In our new article “Spatial distribution of dust–bound trace elements in Pakistan and their implications for human exposure”, we study the spatial patterns in selected dust-borne trace elements alongside the river Indus in Pakistan. The relationship of trace metal concentrations with anthropogenic and natural sources, and associated human health risks were also assessed.
Spatial variation of the trace elements concentration in the dust particles along the altitudinal gradient in Pakistan. The figure is adopted from the article.
A higher geo-accumulation of trace metals were observed in lower Indus plains than in the mountainous areas, supported by the statistically significant negative altitudinal trends in Cr, Mn, Co and Ni. The sources of trace elements varied across the ecological zones in Pakistan, originating from both geological processes and anthropogenic activities. Health hazards from Co and Mn were identified for children in the riverine delta zone and southern low lying zone, and hazard from Pb was identified for both children and adults in almost all regions. These results inform environmental management and disease mitigation on potential hotspots of dust-borne trace metal contamination.
The article can be freely accessed from here until 10 April 2016 and attached below for readers.
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