Assessment of heavy metal pollution and human health risk in urban soils of steel industrial city (Anshan), Liaoning, Northeast China.Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2015 Oct; 120:377-85.EE
The purpose of this study was to determine the concentrations and health risk of heavy metals in urban soils from a steel industrial district in China. A total of 115 topsoil samples from Anshan city, Liaoning, Northeast China were collected and analyzed for Cr, Cd, Pb, Zn, Cu, and Ni. The geoaccumulation index (Igeo), pollution index (PI), and potential ecological risk index (PER) were calculated to assess the pollution level in soils. The hazard index (HI) and carcinogenic risk (RI) were used to assess human health risk of heavy metals. The average concentration of Cr, Cd, Pb, Zn, Cu, and Ni were 69.9, 0.86, 45.1, 213, 52.3, and 33.5mg/kg, respectively. The Igeo and PI values of heavy metals were in the descending order of Cd>Zn>Cu>Pb>Ni>Cr. Higher Igeo value for Cd in soil indicated that Cd pollution was moderate. Pollution index indicated that urban soils were moderate to highly polluted by Cd, Zn, Cu, and Pb. The spatial distribution maps of heavy metals revealed that steel industrial district was the contamination hotspots. Principal component analysis (PCA) and matrix cluster analysis classified heavy metals into two groups, indicating common industrial sources for Cu, Zn, Pb, and Cd. Matrix cluster analysis classified the sampling sites into four groups. Sampling sites within steel industrial district showed much higher concentrations of heavy metals compared to the rest of sampling sites, indicating significant contamination introduced by steel industry on soils. The health risk assessment indicated that non-carcinogenic values were below the threshold values. The hazard index (HI) for children and adult has a descending order of Cr>Pb>Cd>Cu>Ni>Zn. Carcinogenic risks due to Cr, Cd, and Ni in urban soils were within acceptable range for adult. Carcinogenic risk value of Cr for children is slightly higher than the threshold value, indicating that children are facing slight threat of Cr. These results provide basic information of heavy metal pollution control and environment management in steel industrial regions.