Health risk assessment of the European inhabitants exposed to contaminated ambient particulate matter by potentially toxic elements

Parya Broomandi, Andrés Rodríguez-Seijo, Nasime Janatian, Aram Fathian, Aidana Tleuken, Kaveh Mohammadpour, David Galán-Madruga, Ali Jahanbakhshi, Jong Ryeol Kim, Alfrendo Satyanaga, Mehdi Bagheri, Lidia Morawska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


PM10-associated potential toxic elements (PTEs) can enter the respiratory system and cause health problems. In the current study, the health risk indices caused by PM10 inhalation by adults, children, and infants in 158 European cities between 2013 and 2019 were studied to determine if Europeans were adversely affected by carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic factors or not. The Mann–Kendall trend test examined PM10's increasing or decreasing trend. Random Forest analysis was also used to analyse meteorological factors affecting PM10 in Europe. Hazard quotient and cancer risk were estimated using PM10-associated PTEs. Our results showed a decline in continental PM10 concentrations. The correlation between PM10 concentrations and temperature (−0.40), PBLH (−0.39), and precipitation were statistically strong (−0.21). The estimated Pearson correlation coefficients showed a statistically strong positive correlation between As & Pb, As & Cd, and Cd & Pb during 2013–2019, indicating a similar origin. PTEs with hazard quotients below one, regardless of subpopulation type, posed no noncancerous risk to Europeans. The hazard quotient values positively correlated with time, possibly due to elevated PTE levels. In our study on carcinogen pollution in Europe between 2013 and 2019, we found unacceptable levels of As, Cd, Ni, and Pb among adults, children, and infants. Carcinogenic risk rates were highest for children, followed by infants, adult women, and adult men. Therefore, besides monitoring and mitigating PM concentrations, effective control of PM sources is also needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121232
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Publication statusPublished - Apr 15 2023


  • Air pollution
  • Cancer risk
  • Europe
  • Health risks
  • Inhalation
  • Particulate matter
  • Potential toxic elements (PTEs)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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