Integrated Health Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in Suxian County, South China.Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2015 Jun 24; 12(7):7100-17.IJ
The purpose of this study was to assess soil heavy metal contamination and the potential risk for local residents in Suxian county of Hunan Province, southern China. Soil, rice and vegetable samples from the areas near the mining industrial districts were sampled and analyzed. The results indicate that the anthropogenic mining activities have caused local agricultural soil contamination with As, Pb, Cu and Cd in the ranges of 8.47-341.33 mg/kg, 19.91-837.52 mg/kg, 8.41-148.73 mg/kg and 0.35-6.47 mg/kg, respectively. GIS-based mapping shows that soil heavy metal concentrations abruptly diminish with increasing distance from the polluting source. The concentrations of As, Pb, Cu and Cd found in rice were in the ranges of 0.02-1.48 mg/kg, 0.66-5.78 mg/kg, 0.09-6.75 mg/kg, and up to 1.39 mg/kg, respectively. Most of these concentrations exceed their maximum permissible levels for contaminants in foods in China. Heavy metals accumulate to significantly different levels between leafy vegetables and non-leafy vegetables. Food consumption and soil ingestion exposure are the two routes that contribute to the average daily intake dose of heavy metals for local adults. Moreover, the total hazard indices of As, Pb and Cd are greater than or close to the safety threshold of 1. Long-term As, Pb and Cd exposure through the regular consumption of the soil, rice and vegetables in the investigated area poses potential health problems to residents in the vicinity of the mining industry.