Paper No. 6
Presentation Time: 9:30 AM
HUMAN HEALTH VS. GEOCHEMISTRY OF URBAN DUST IN ARID ENVIRONMENT: POSSIBLE IMPACT ON LEARNING SKILLS IN ELEMENTARY EDUCATION
An outstanding feature of human settlement is the impact on the environment. Regardless the size of human settlement, nationality, beliefs, and economy, most of the time anthropogenic activity has a negative impact on human health. Arid environments are of special interest in environmental studies because the extreme temperatures, low precipitation conditions, and the daily anthropogenic activity allow the re-suspension, translation, and re-deposition of dust in urban zones. These conditions are subsequently aggravated by the topography, wind direction, urban infrastructure and inherit activity (buildings, roads, thermal anomalies, heavy traffic areas, etc). The elemental and isotopic geochemical characterization of urban dust has been a useful tool to identify the nature of dust. Metals concentrations in urban dust may be associated to several anthropogenic activities or may be associated to geologic sources. Moreover, the constrainment of metals concentrations in urban dust is extremely important since several studies have demonstrated the negative impact on human health. Studies evaluating human health distribution using geographic information system in conjunction with the chemical composition of urban dust are scarce. Thus, the constrainment of pollution is fundamental to identify potential sources and to assess risk health. Hermosillo, located in northwestern Mexico, has experienced a noticeable population and industrial growth for the past three decades. Recent studies show high metal concentration in dust deposited on roofs of elementary schools and airborne particulate matter. Lead isotope data in urban dust clearly demonstrate the presence of anthropogenic and geogenic end-members. The obtained metals concentration data of road dust and urban soils in Hermosillo suggests a close relationship between high metal concentrations, heavy traffic, and the well-defined zones with remarkable anthropogenic influence in the city. The data also correlate with the spatial distribution of chronic diseases and show a positive correlation with negative impact in learning skills of children from elementary education.