IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 5017: Risk Assessment and Implications of Schoolchildren Exposure to Classroom Heavy Metals Particles in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
Classrooms Air Conditioner Filter (CACF) particles represent all of the exposed particles that have migrated to the interior environment. This study was conducted to assess the heavy metals contamination in CACF particles from Jeddah primary schools located in urban, suburban and residential areas; and to evaluate their health risks of children exposure (non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic). Heavy metals levels in CACF particles of schools were in the following order: urban schools > suburban schools > residential schools. Fe, Mn and Zn were the dominant species. Geo-accumulation index (Igeo), contamination factor (CF) and pollution load index (PLI) values indicated that the contamination levels was in the following order Cd > Pb > Zn > As > Cu > Ni > Mn > Cr > Co >V > Fe. School CACF particles was moderately contaminated with As and Zn and moderately to heavily contaminated with Pb and Cd. Enrichment factors (EFs) indicated that Zn, Cd, Pb, As and Cu in CACF particles were severe enriched. The hazard quotient (HQs) and hazards index (HI) values for heavy metals were lower than the acceptable level of one. As, Pb, Cr and Mn were exhibited high non-cancer effects for children. The lifetime cancer risk (LCR) and total lifetime cancer risk (TLCR), HQs and HI values for the different exposure pathways of heavy metals decreased in the following order: ingestion > dermal contact > inhalation. Carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic risk rank order of schools were urban schools > suburban schools > residential schools. The LCR and TLCR of heavy metals was in the following order: Co > Ni >Cr > Cd > As > Pb. The ingestion lifetime cancer risk (LCRing) and TLCR values from exposure to Ni and Cr in urban and suburban schools, Cd in urban schools, and Co in all Jeddah schools only exceed the acceptable range (1 × 10−6–1 × 10−4) Only LCRing and TLCR values from exposure to ∑ carcinogens exceed the acceptable level.