Health risks from exposure to metals in household dusts

Rev Environ Health. Oct-Dec 1996;11(4):179-89. doi: 10.1515/reveh.1996.11.4.179.


The levels of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), and nickel (Ni) were determined in a total of 315 indoor and outdoor dust samples collected from 53 households in Louisiana. Inductively coupled plasma analysis revealed that in many samples, the metal content exceeded the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Risk-Based Concentration (RBC) guidelines. For example, the number of dust samples above the EPA-RBC included 64 for Cd, 52 for Hg, 43 for As, 4 for Fe, 4 for Cu, 3 for Cr, and 2 for Ni. One-hundred fifty-two samples exceeded the street-dust level for Pb published by the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. The results of this study indicate that exposure to indoor and/or outdoor dust presents a potential health risk for Louisiana residents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Air Pollutants / analysis
  • Air Pollution, Indoor / adverse effects*
  • Air Pollution, Indoor / analysis
  • Dust / adverse effects*
  • Housing*
  • Humans
  • Louisiana
  • Metals, Heavy / adverse effects*
  • Metals, Heavy / analysis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Rural Population
  • Seasons
  • Urban Population


  • Air Pollutants
  • Dust
  • Metals, Heavy