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The Risk of Arsenic Contamination in Czech Urban Soils

Magdalena Zimová, Zdeňka Wittlingerová, Jan Melicherčík, Anita Závodská, Anna Cidlinová, Vladimíra Němcová, Pavel Danihelka
Transactions of the VSB - Technical University of Ostrava, Safety Engineering Series
2011, Volume 6, Issue 2, Pages 32-38
Doi: 10.35182/tses-2011-0015
Arsenic (As) contamination was investigated in urban soil agglomerates in the Czech Republic. The aim of studying surface urban soil layers was to assess the degree of health risk resulting from the exposure to toxic substances through unintended consumption of soil and soil dust. Given that the greatest risk of increased exposure is for the population of preschool-aged children, the project focused on kindergarten playgrounds. Measurements were carried out in a total of 413 kindergartens in 38 towns between 2002 and 2007. Selected metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons were monitored in the surface soil layer samples of the playgrounds. This study presents the results of the soil As contamination and evaluates the health risks faced by children through exposure to these soils. Based on the results of the soil analysis and on the use of residential exposure scenarios for preschool-aged children, the oral and dermal exposures to As in children within the 1 to 6 year age group were estimated. At all monitored sites the risk was found to be higher than 1x10-6. When the overall risk of cumulative exposure to As during childhood and adulthood was evaluated, the risk of 1x10-6 was exceeded in about 99 % of the cases and the risk of 1x10-5 was exceeded in about 54 % of the cases.
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