Health Risks Associated with Heavy Metals in Fine Particulate Matter: A Case Study in Delhi City, India

DOI: 10.4236/gep.2015.32012   PDF   HTML   XML   5,076 Downloads   5,812 Views   Citations


The concentrations of twenty five heavy metals adsorbed to fine fraction of particulate matter, PM2.5 (d ≤ 2.5 μm) have been experimentally analysed at a sampling site located at the kerbside along a National Highway in Delhi city, India. The sampling has been carried out for 12-hour using Ecotech Intruments, APM550. The PM2.5 has been collected on PTFE filter papers for the winter season. Later, the filter papers have been analysed for various heavy metal concentrations using ED-XRF. It has been observed that the metals concentrations are in this trend: Si > K > S > Ca = Fe > Zn = Pb > Br. it is observed that Si has high co-relation with Ca, Fe and K, which may be due to crustal origin of all three elements; while S, Br and Pb may be from vehicular exhaust emissions and/or abrasions due to brake and tyre wear. The potential health risks associated with different carcinogenic heavy metals have also been calculated. One of the health risk indicators, the excess cancer risk (ECR), is found to be in the order as As > Cd > Pb > Cr > Ni.

Share and Cite:

Khanna, I. , Khare, M. and Gargava, P. (2015) Health Risks Associated with Heavy Metals in Fine Particulate Matter: A Case Study in Delhi City, India. Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection, 3, 72-77. doi: 10.4236/gep.2015.32012.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Schwartz, J., Dockery, D.W. and Neas, L.M. (1996) Is Daily Mortality Associated Specifically with Fine Particles? Journal of Air and Waste Management Association, 46, 927-939.
[2] Tsai, Y.I. and Chen, C. (2006) Atmospheric Aerosol Composition and Source Apportionments to Aerosol in Southern Taiwan. Atmospheric Environment, 40, 4751-4763.
[3] Watson, J.G., Zhu, T., Chow, J.C., Engelbrecht, J., Fujita, E.M. and Wilson, W.E. (2002) Receptor Modeling Application Framework for Particle Source Apportionment. Chemosphere, 49, 1093-1136.
[4] Shah, M.H. and Shaheen, N. (2010) Seasonal Behaviours in Elemental Composition of Atmospheric Aerosols Collected in Islamabad, Pakistan. Atmospheric Research, 95, 210-223.
[5] Gulia, S., Nagendra, S.M.S., Khare, M. and Khanna, I. (2015) Urban Air Quality Management—A Review. Atmospheric Pollution Research, 6.
[6] Straif, K., Cohen, A. and Samet, J. (2013) Air Pollution and Cancer. International Agency for Research on Cancer, France.
[7] IARC (2013) Outdoor Air Pollution a Leading Environmental Cause of Cancer Deaths.
[8] USEPA (1989) Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund.
[9] Park, E.J., Kim, D.S. and Park, K. (2008) Monitoring and Ambient Particles and Heavy Metals in a Residential Area of Seoul, Korea. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 137, 441-449.
[10] Hieu, N.T. and Lee, B.K. (2010) Characteristics of Particulate Matter and Metals in the Ambient Air from a Residential Area in the Largest Industrial City in Korea. Atmospheric Research, 98, 526-537.
[11] USEPA (1998) Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund: Volume I—Human Health Evaluation Manual (Part D).
[12] CPCB (2009) National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
[13] USEPA (2011) National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
[14] Khanna, I., Khare, M., Gargava, P., Jakhmola, B.K. and Mishra, N. (2014) Chemical Characterization of Fine Particulate Matter at a Kerbside of National Highway in Delhi, India. Proceedings of Better Air Quality Conference, Sri Lanka.
[15] Garg, B.D., Cadle, S.H., Mulawa, P.A., Groblicki, P.J., Laroo, C. and Parr, G.A. (2000) Brake-Wear Particulate Matter Emissions. Environmental Science and Technology, 34, 4463-4469.
[16] Cadle, S., Mulawa, P., Hunsanger, E., Nelson, K., Ragazzi, R., Barrett, R., et al. (1999) Composition of Light Duty Motor Vehicle Exhaust Particulate Matter in the Denver, Colorado Area. Environmental Science and Technology, 33, 2328-2339.
[17] Banerjee, A.D.K. (2003) Heavy Metal Levels and Solid Phase Speciation in Street Dusts of Delhi, India. Environmental Pollution, 123, 95-105.
[18] Luhana, L., Sokhi, R., Warner., L., Mao., H., Boulter., P., MeCrae., I., et al. (2004) Measurement of Non-Exhaust Particulate Matter. European Commission.
[19] Pant, P. and Roy, H. (2012) Estimation of the Contribution of Road Traffic Emissions to Particulate Matter Concentrations from Field Measurements: A Review. Atmospheric Environment, 77, 78-97.
[20] Allen, J., Mayo, P., Hughes, L., Salmon, L. and Cass, G. (2001) Emissions of Size Segregated Aerosols from On-Road Vehicles in the Caldecott Tunnel. Environmental Science and Technology, 35, 4189-4197.
[21] Sternbeck, J., Sjodin, A. and Andreasson, K. (2002) Metal Emissions from Road Traffic and the Influence of Resuspension—Results from Two Tunnel Studies. Atmospheric Environment, 36, 4735-4744.
[22] Karar, K., Gupta, A.K., Kumar, A. and Biswas, A.K. (2006) Characterization and Identification of the Sources of Chromium, Zinc, Lead, Cadmium, Nickel, Manganese, and Iron in PM10 at Two Sites of Kolkata, India. Environment Monitoring and Assessment, 120, 347-360.
[23] IARC (2006) Inorganic and Organic Lead Compounds. Mono-graph on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans.
[24] IARC (2012) A Review of Human Carcinogens, Part C: Arsenic, Metals, Fibres, and Dusts, 100. Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans.
[25] USEPA (2004) Regional Screening Levels.

comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2020 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.