High levels of heavy metals in rice (Oryza sativa L.) from a typical E-waste recycling area in southeast China and its potential risk to human health.Chemosphere. 2008 Apr; 71(7):1269-75.C
Very few studies have investigated the heavy metal contents in rice samples from a typical E-waste recycling area. In this study, 10 heavy metals (As, Ba, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Hg, Mn, Ni and Pb) in 13 polished rice and relevant hull samples, six relevant paddy soil samples were investigated. The geometric mean concentrations of Cd, Cu and Hg in soil samples were 1.19, 9.98 and 0.32 microg g(-1), respectively, which were 4.0, 2.0 and 1.1-folds of the maximum allowable concentration (MAC) (0.30, 50.00, 0.30 microg g(-1), respectively) for Chinese agricultural soils. The analyzed metal concentrations were significantly different between rice and relevant hull except for As, Cd and Hg (p<0.05). All metal concentrations, except for Co, in rice hull were higher than those in polished rice. The geometric mean of Pb in polished rice reached 0.69 microg g(-1), which was 3.5-folds higher than the MAC (0.20 microg g(-1)) by the safety criteria for milled rice. Cd contents in 31% of the rice samples exceeded the national MAC (0.20 microg g(-1)), and the arithmetic mean also slightly exceeded national MAC. In addition, Cd and Pb contents in local rice were much higher than commercial rice samples examined in this work and previous studies. Comparing the tolerable daily intakes given by FAO/WHO with the mean estimated daily intakes; Pb daily intake through rice consumption in this area was 3.7 microg day(-1)kg(-1) body weight (bw), which already exceeded the FAO tolerable daily intake, and the Cd daily intake (0.7 microg day(-1)kg(-1) bw) through rice had already taken up 70% of the total tolerable daily intake (1 microg day(-1)kg(-1) bw). The daily intake of Hg and As through rice was much lower than the tolerable daily intakes, but bioaccumulation of Hg through the food chain and intake of As from other food stuff should also be of concern.