Sci Rep. 2022 Nov 17;12(1):19736. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-21242-z.
Rapid industrialization and urbanization have resulted in environmental pollution and unsustainable development of cities. The concentration of 12 potentially toxic metal(loid)s in windowsill dust samples (n = 50) were investigated from different functional areas of Qom city with the highest level of urbanization in Iran. Spatial analyses (ArcGIS 10.3) and multivariate statistics including Principal Component Analysis and Spearman correlation (using STATISTICA-V.12) were adopted to scrutinize the possible sources of pollution. The windowsill dust was very highly enriched with Sb (50 mg/kg) and Pb (1686 mg/kg). Modified degree of contamination (mCd) and the pollution load indices (PLIzone) indicate that windowsill dust in all functional areas was polluted in the order of industrial > commercial > residential > green space. Arsenic, Cd, Mo, Pb, Sb, Cu, and Zn were sourced from a mixture of traffic and industrial activities, while Mn in the dust mainly stemmed from mining activities. Non-carcinogenic health risk (HI) showed chronic exposure of Pb for children in the industrial zone (HI = 1.73). The estimations suggest the possible carcinogenic risk of As, Pb, and Cr in the dust. The findings of this study reveal poor environmental management of the city. Emergency plans should be developed to minimize the health risks of dust to residents.