The mineralogy, geochemistry and health risk assessment of deposited particulate matter (PM) in Kraków, Poland

Agnieszka Gruszecka-Kosowska, Magdalena Wdowin


One of the most important air contaminants in Krakow is particulate matter (PM), especially during winter months. Deposited PM was sampled between November 2014 and January 2015 and November 2015 and January 2016. The PM deposition amounted to 0.0646 g/m2 per day in the centre of Krakow and 0.0328 g/m2 in the northern district of the city. The allowed value of annual dust deposits (0.547 g/m2 per day) was not exceeded. The XRD and SEM-EDS analysis showed that quartz, calcite, potassium feldspar, plagioclase, kaolinite, and gypsum were the main mineralogical components of the deposited PM. Only in a few samples were illite, dolomite, and apatite observed. Significant concentrations were measured (ICP-MS) for Ca, Fe, Mg, Al, K, Si, Na, and Mn, and high concentrations for Ti, Cu, Zn, As, Pb, Cr, Ti, V, Li, Sr and Ni. The highest estimated daily intakes (EDI) for resuspended PM, were stated for ingestion exposure pathway than for dermal contact, and finally for inhalation, both for children and adults, as well as, for carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic elements. The mean hazard quotient (HQ) values for all three exposure pathways decreased in the following order: Fe > Al > Zn > Mn > Sr > Cu > Ba > Cr > Pb > V > Ni > Li > As > Sn > Zr > Co > Cd > Be, for children and adults. The hazard index values for all elements in each exposure pathway (HIelem) and for single elements in all exposure pathways (HIpath) were <1, both for children and adults. The risk values from all three exposure pathways were unacceptable in the case of Cr, both for children and adults, and in the case of As for children. The total non-carcinogenic risk (HItotal) values in all three exposure pathways for all elements were <1, however in case of children the risk value pointed to a low risk level. The total carcinogenic risk (Rtotal) values in all three exposure pathways for As and Cr exceeded the acceptable level, both for children and adults.


particulate matter, air quality, human health, mineralogical composition, chemical composition

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