L. Sahakyan, G. Tepanosyan, N. Maghakyan, G. Melkonyan, A. Saghatelyan;                             Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: An International Journa,                             2020,                             9,                             pp. 1-18;                             DOI: 10.1080/10807039.2020.1820853                        
Mercury (Hg) contamination is a frequently debated issue in environmental research. In this study, the distribution and the ecological and health risk of Hg in soil and outdoor dust from 19 kindergartens from Vanadzor city were investigated. In comparison with other cities, Hg concentrations in dust and soil samples retrieved from Vanadzor were significantly low constituting 0.03–0.42 mg/kg and 0.025–0.05mg/kg respectively. The total concentrations of Hg were determined using XRF-spectrometry, with a detection limit of 3x10-4mg/kg. The geostatistical analyses suggested relatively high Hg concentrations only in 4 outdoor dust samples, possibly influenced by the impact of certain anthropogenic activity. In all soil and remaining 15 outdoor dust samples, Hg concentrations had a natural origin. According to the coefficient of concentration (Kc), all soil samples were marked at the low Hg pollution level. Dust Kc values of 15 kindergartens are under the allowable pollution level, while in 4 kindergartens moderately hazardous pollution was detected. The Potential Ecological Risk Index (PERI) revealed a low level of risk in all soil and 13 dust samples; a moderate, high and very high ecological risk in remaining kindergartens was detected. The results of the health risk assessment indicated the absence of an adverse noncarcinogenic health effect for children from kindergarten soil and outdoor dust in terms of Hg contamination.
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