Lead Contamination in Playgrounds in Tuzla (Bosnia and Herzegovina)-environmental and Children Health Risk Assessment

Document Type : Original Article


Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Tuzla, Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina



Soil contamination with heavy metals has pervaded many parts of the world which can influence on human health. Environmental and health risk assessment processes are key steps in obtaining information on potential adverse effects on human health which may arise as a result of exposure to heavy metals from the environment. Thirty samples of soil were collected in summer 2018, from 10 municipal playgrounds in Tuzla (Bosnia and Herzegovina) to perform health risk assessment for children exposed to lead (Pb) from soil during their outdoor play activities. The Pb concentrations were determined by ICP-AES. Soil contamination was assessed using contamination factor and geoaccumulation index. Non-cancer risk due to exposure to Pb from soil thorough ingestion, dermal contact and inhalation pathway was estimated using a deterministic methodology. The results of the risk assessment indicated that the highest risk is associated with the ingestion of soil particles compared to two other exposure pathways. The mean total Hazard Index value calculated was 5.34E-02, below the threshold value of 1, indicating there was no increased health risk due to children’s exposure to Pb. Although, the study showed there was no increased risk for children’s health due to exposure to Pb from soil, there is still a rising concern regarding possible adverse effects of Pb on children’s health. It is of great importance to monitor environmental pollution and continuously assess the risk to human health, not only thorough soil, but also through other important pathways of exposure such as food, water, air, toys, etc.


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