Author(s): Mbazima, S.J.

 Source: Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health (2023) 16:2309–2323

Abstract: Indoor and outdoor PM2.5 samples were collected in three residential areas near a ferromanganese smelter using GilAir300 plus at 2.75 L/min, and the elemental composition was analysed using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectroscopy. A health risk assessment was conducted to determine the probability of developing carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic effects for four age groups. The hazard quotient (HQ) for manganese was >1 both indoors and outdoors for the four age groups in all residential areas, indicating a risk of developing non-carcinogenic health effects. The HQs of Cr (VI) displayed a similar trend for all age groups; it was >1 in all residential areas except for outdoor environments at New Sicelo. The highest HQ (25.6) was found indoors at Old Sicelo for the 21–35 age group whereas the minimum (8.3) was found indoors at Noldick for the 36–65+ age group. When using the overall concentrations, the HQ was >1 only for Mn and the highest values were recorded at Noldick. The cancer risks for chromium (VI), cobalt, and cadmium were above the upper limit of 1 × 10 −4 and the lower limit of 1 × 10 −6 when considering indoor and outdoor concentrations. When considering the overall concentrations, the cancer risk for cobalt was >1 × 10 −6 and that of chromium (VI) was >1 × 10 −4. Urgent intervention is required, particularly given the negative health effects associated with Mn exposure.

Keywords: Meyerton · Exposure · Carcinogenic · Concentration · Hazard quotient