Air Pollution Risk Assessment: A Comparative Study of Industrial Cities of Pakistan


  • Y. Faiz Directorate of Science, PINSTECH, Islamabad
  • S. Waheed Directorate of Science, PINSTECH, Islamabad
  • M. Daud Directorate of Science, PINSTECH, Islamabad


 Currently in Pakistan there is little information regarding dose assessment for trace elements in air particulate matter (APM). US EPA health risk assessment model has been employed to calculate the elemental dose for thirty four elements quantified using instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) technique in APM and soil samples collected from Faisalabad and Gujranwala cities. Hazard Quotient (HQ) and Hazard Index (HI) have been assessed for Al, Ba, Co, Cr, Mn, Sb, Sr, V and Zn. Alarming elemental doses were observed as 1.91, 1.28, 1.26, 2.21 and 1.97 respectively for Al, Fe, K, Mg, and Na in suspended particulate matter (SPM) of Faisalabad. Likewise in Gujranwala the levels were 1.66, 9.84, 2.62, 1.32, 1.03 and 1.49 for Al, Ca, Fe, K, Mg and Na, respectively. For Faisalabad high HI values were evaluated for Al, Cr and Sb with respective values of 2.00, 1.01 and 1.46. Similarly, in SPM of Gujranwala the HI values for these elements were also high (1.73, 2.49E+02 and 3.94 respectively). Critically, high Cr hazard levels due to tanneries and chrome plating industries in Gujranwala city indicate alarming health hazard. Overall, Al, Cr and Sb are the current challenges to be managed.

Author Biographies

Y. Faiz, Directorate of Science, PINSTECH, Islamabad

Chemistry Division

S. Waheed, Directorate of Science, PINSTECH, Islamabad

Chemistry Division

M. Daud, Directorate of Science, PINSTECH, Islamabad

Chemistry Division


S. M. Almeida, M. C. Freitas, M. Reis, T. Pinheiro, P. M. Felix, and C. A. Pio, “Fifteen years of nuclear techniques application to suspended particulate matter studies”, J. Radioanal.Nucl. Chem., vol. 297, pp. 347-356, 2013.

Y. Faiz, M. Tufail, M. T. Javed and M. M. Chaudhry, “Road dust pollution of Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn along Islamabad Expressway, Pakistan”, Microchem. J., vol. 92, pp. 186–192, 2009.

W. H. Schroeder, M. Dobson, D. M. Kane and N. D. Johnson, “Toxic Trace Elements Associated with Airborne Particulate Matter: A Review”, Air Waste Manag. Assoc., vol. 37, pp. 1267-1285, 1987.

World Health Organization (WHO). “The world health report: a safer future : Global public health security in the 21st century”, Geneva, Switzerland. F. Zereini, C. L. S. Wiseman (Eds.). Urban Airborne Particulate Matter: Origin, Chemistry, Fate and Health Impacts, Springer- Verlag, Berlin, 2007.

F. Zereini and C. L. S. Wiseman, “Platinum Group Elements in Trace Elements in Soils”, P. S. Hooda (Ed.), John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester, UK, 2010.

S. Charlesworth, E. De. Miguel and A. Ordóñez, “A review of the distribution of particulate trace elements in urban terrestrial environments and its application to considerations of risk”, Environ. Geochem. Health., vol. 33, pp. 103-123, 2011.

A. Mukhtar and A. Limbeck, “Recent developments in assessment of bio-accessible trace metal fractions in airborne particulate matter: A review”, Analytica Chim. Acta., vol. 774, pp. 11-25, 2013.

S. Waheed, A. Rahman, N. Khalid and S. A. Ahmad, “Assessment of air quality of two metropolitan cities in Pakistan: Elemental analysis using INAA and AAS”, Radiochim. Acta., vol. 94, pp. 161-166, 2006.

M. Waisberg, P. Joseph, . Hale, D. Beyersmann, “Molecular and cellular mechanisms of cadmium carcinogenesis”, Toxicol., vol. 192, pp. 95-117, 2003.

M. Nadal, M. Schuhmacher, J. L. Domingo, “Metal pollution of soils and vegetation in an area with petrochemical industry”, Sci. Total Environ., vol. 321, pp. 59-69, 2004.

F. Dominici, D. Roger, R. D. Peng, C. D. Barr and M. L. Bell “Protecting human health from air pollution: Shifting from a single-pollutant to a multi-pollutant approach”, Epidemiology, vol. 21, pp. 187–194, 2012.

P. Shi, J. Xiao, Y. Wang and L. Chem, “Assessment of ecological and human health risks of heavy metal contamination in agriculture soils disturbed by pipeline construction”, Int. J Environ. Res. Public Health, vol. 11, pp. 2504–2520, 2014.

E. Sánchez-Triana, S. Enriquez, J., Afzal, A. Nakagawa and A. S. Khan, “Cleaning Pakistan’s air: Policy options to address the cost of outdoor air pollution”, World Bank Group Publications, Washington, DC, USA. ISBN: 978-1-4648-0235-5, 2014.

S. Waheed, A. Rahman, M. Daud, S. Rahman, Z. Islam and S. Ahmad, “Air quality evaluation of some industrial cities of Pakistan using INAA and AAS”, Radiochim. Acta., vol. 93, pp. 487–495, 2005.

A. D. Lemly, “Evaluation of the hazard quotient method for risk assessment of selenium”, Ecotoxicol. Environ. Safety, vol. 35, pp. 156–162, 1996.

G. F. Nordberg, K. Nogawa, M. Nordberg and J. M. Friedmann, “Cadmium. Handbook on the Toxicology of Metals”, Amsterdam: Elsevier, pp. 445–486, 2007.

U.S. EPA, “Soil screening guidance: Technical background document”, Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Washington, DC, 1996.

Y. Faiz et al. / The Nucleus 53, No. 2 (2016) 99-106

US. DoE, “RAIS: Risk Assessment Information System", U.S. Department of Energy. 2004.

S. Waheed, N. Siddique, M. Arif, M. Daud and A. Markwitz, “Size-fractionated airborne particulate matter characterization of a residential area near Islamabad airport by IBA methods”, J. Radioanal. Nucl. Chem., vol. 293, pp. 279–287, 2012.

W. Liu, P. K. Hopke, Y. Han, S. M. Yi, M. T. Holsen, S. Cybart, K. Kozlowskic and M. Milligan, “Application of receptor modeling to atmospheric constituents at Potsdam and Stockton, NY”, Atmos. Environ., vol. 37, pp. 4997-5007, 2003.

A. N. Costa, V. Moreno, M. J. Prieto, A. M. Urbano and M. C Alpoim,. “Induction of morphological changes in BEAS-2B human bronchial epithelial cells following chronic sub-cytotoxic and mildly cytotoxic hexavalent chromium exposures”, Mol Carcinog., vol. 49, pp. 582–591, 2010.

I. I. Roberts, O. E. Orisakwe, “Evaluation of potential dietary toxicity of heavy metals in some common Nigerian beverages: A

look at antimony, tin and mercury”, QScience Connect vol. 2, p. 2011:2 doi: 10.5339/connect.2011.2, 2011.

S. Sundar, J. Chakravarty, “Antimony Toxicity”, Int. J Environ Res Public Health. vol. 7(12), p. 4267–4277, 2010.

E. Von-Schneidemesser, E. A. Stone, T. A. Quraishi, M. M. Shafer, J. J. Schauer, “Toxic metals in the atmosphere in Lahore, Pakistan”, Sci. Total Environ., vol. 408, p. 1640-1648, 2010.

Y. Faiz, N. Siddique, M. Tufail, “Pollution level and health risk assessment of road dust from an expressway”, J. Environ. Sci. Health, Part A., vol. 47, p. 818–829, 2012.

U.S. EPA. “Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund Volume I: Human Health Evaluation Manual (Part E) EPA/540/R/99/005”. Supplemental Guidance for Dermal Risk Assessment -Interim Guidance., Washington, D.C. 2001.

R. Van den Berg, “Human exposure to soil contamina-tion: a qualitative and quantitative analysis towards proposals for human toxicological intervention value”, RIVM Publications, 1995.




How to Cite

Y. Faiz, S. Waheed, and M. Daud, “Air Pollution Risk Assessment: A Comparative Study of Industrial Cities of Pakistan”, The Nucleus, vol. 53, no. 2, pp. 99–106, Jun. 2016.




Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 > >>