Household dust was collected from 82 residential homes within the Sydney metropolitan area. The geometric mean concentrations of metals in the household dust were Cd, 1.9 μg/g; Cr, 64.3 μg/g; Cu, 103 μg/g; Fe, 2740 μg/g; Mn, 54 μg/g; Ni, 15.6 μg/g; Pb, 85.2 μg/g; and Zn, 437 μg/g. Differences in household income level, dwelling type, or the number of occupants were not statistically significant for the majority of metals. The exceptions were higher amounts of Zn ( P =0.033) and Fe ( P =0.047) found in households with only 1–2 residents compared to those with 3–4 or >4 residents, and slightly higher Mn levels ( P =0.033) were found in low-income households (AUD$0–30,000/year). Region was highly significant for Pb levels in Sydney but not significant for other metals. Large variations in Pb levels were found in household dust (16–16,600 μg/g), with the inner-west region associated with significantly higher Pb levels ( P <0.001). Comparisons with a study from a decade earlier have revealed that the household dust Pb levels have remained constant despite substantial improvements in air quality in the inner-west area of Sydney. New epidemiological studies are required to determine whether Pb blood levels have also remained unchanged and whether accumulated Pb in household dust represents a significant health risk to children in this region.
Environmental Research – Elsevier
Published: Nov 1, 2003
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