[Contamination and health risk for heavy metals via consumption of vegetables grown in fragmentary vegetable plots from a typical nonferrous metals mine city].Huan Jing Ke Xue. 2013 Mar; 34(3):1076-85.HJ
A systematic survey of As, Ni, Cu, Pb, Cd and Zn concentrations in eight kinds of vegetables (involving 226 samples) and their corresponding soils at 35 sampling sites in the fragmentary vegetable plots of a typical nonferrous metals mine city, Tongling, was carried out for assessing heavy metal pollution, bio-accumulation ability and potential health risk to local inhabitants due to exposure via consumption of vegetables. The results showed that: (1) The soils of the studied vegetable plots were seriously contaminated by heavy metals and the mean concentrations of As, Ni, Cu, Pb, Cd and Zn reached 96.96, 56.64, 1 247.82, 313.59, 6.743 and 600.96 mg x kg(-1), respectively, all significantly exceeding the soil background value of Tongling city; (2) The mean values of integrated pollution index corresponding to eight varieties of vegetables were all higher than the threshold value (i. e. 3.0) of heavy pollution; (3) In general, the largest bioaccumulation factor of heavy metals in vegetables was As, followed by Ni and Cu, and the order of pollution degree of heavy metals in vegetables was Ni > Zn > Cu > Pb > As > Cd; (4) The target hazard quotients (THQs) of As, Ni, Cu, Pb, Cd and Zn were 17.92, 1.01, 10.14, 0.73, 0.21 and 1.93, respectively. Arsenic and copper were the major risk contributors for inhabitants since the THQs of them respectively mounted to 56.10% and 31.75% of the total THQ value according to the average vegetable consumption; (5) The estimated daily intake (DI) of As, Ni, Cu, Pb, Cd and Zn from vegetables was 324.38, 1 211.25, 24 326.25, 176.25, 12.75 and 34 800 microg x d(-1) for adult residents, respectively; and (6) The target cancer risk (TR) of vegetables polluted by As to individual human health was 8.06 x 10(-3), significantly higher than the management standard (i. e. 10(-6) - 10(-4)) of United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and the standard (i. e. 5.0 x 10(-5)) of International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), indicating that it was quite unsafe for the general population to consume vegetables from the studied fragmentary plots.