Potentially toxic trace element contamination, sources, and pollution assessment in farmlands, Bijie City, southwestern China.Environ Monit Assess. 2017 Jan; 189(1):25.EM
Artisanal zinc smelting activities, which had been widely applied in Bijie City, Guizhou Province, southwestern of China, can pollute surrounding farmlands. In the present study, 177 farmland topsoil samples of Bijie City were collected and 11 potentially toxic trace elements (PTEs), namely Pb, Zn, Cu, Ni, Co, Mn, Cr, V, Hg, As, and Cd were tested to characterize the concentrations, sources, and ecological risks. Mean concentrations of these PTEs in soils were (mg/kg) as follows: Pb (127), Zn (379), Cu (93.1), Ni (54.6), Co (26.2), Mn (1095), Cr (133), V (206), Hg (0.15), As (16.2), and Cd (3.08). Pb, Zn, and Cd had coefficients of variation greater than 100% and showed a high uneven distribution and spatial variability in the study area. Correlation coefficient analysis and principal component analysis (PCA) were used to quantify potential pollution sources. Results showed that Cu, Ni, Co, Mn, and V came from natural sources, whereas Pb, Zn, Hg, As, and Cd came from anthropogenic pollution sources. Geoaccumulation index and potential ecological risk indices were employed to study the pollution degree of PTEs, which revealed that Pb and Cd shared the greatest contamination and would pose serious ecological risks to the surrounding environment. The results of this study could help the local government managers to establish pollution control strategies and to secure food safety.