Abstract—Exposure to lead-contaminated dust poses a health risk particularly to young children who are highly predisposed to the adverse effects of lead pollution. The study investigated the extent of lead contamination of dust collected from floors of classrooms in selected public and private elementary schools in Tarlac City, Philippines in order to provide policy makers, public health managers, and the community at large the necessary background information to make further efforts to curb lead pollution and develop meaningful actions and responses to address environmental health problems. A total of 108 dust samples were collected from the six sampling sites. Instrumental analysis for lead content of the dust samples through atomic absorption spectrophotometry showed the presence of lead in all the dust samples. The average lead levels in the dust samples ranging from 158.3 ug/ft2 to 287.8 ug/ft2 did not vary significantly among the six schools investigated and were all found to exceed the maximum exposure limit (40 ug/ft2) set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The findings of the study suggest that schoolchildren in Tarlac City, Philippines are at risk of exposure to the hazards of lead dust.
Index Terms—lead (Pb), dust, floor, schools, health hazard.
Louella F. Ona, Associate Professsor, Tarlac State University, Tarlac City, Philippines.
Cite: Louella F. Ona, "Lead (Pb) Contamination of Dust from Schools in an Urbanized City in the Philippines; International Journal of Environmental Science and Development vol. 1, no. 4, pp. 302-306, 2010.