Contaminant characteristics and environmental risk assessment of heavy metals in the paddy soils from lead (Pb)-zinc (Zn) mining areas in Guangdong Province, South China.Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2017 Nov; 24(31):24387-24399.ES
In November 2016, the total metal concentrations in nine representative locations in lead (Pb)-zinc (Zn) mining areas, located in Guangdong Province, South China, were determined experimentally by flame atomic absorption spectrometer. The results indicated that the paddy soils were heavily contaminated with Cd (20.25 mg kg-1), Pb (1093.03 mg kg-1), and Zn (867.0 mg kg-1), exceeding their corresponding soil quality standard values and background values. According to the results, the mean enrichment factor levels of the studied metals decreased in the following order: Cd > Zn > Pb > Cu > Ni > Mn > Cr. Among these metals, Cd, Pb, and Zn were predominantly influenced by widespread anthropogenic activities. The highest concentrations of the studied metal pollutants were distributed in the areas surrounding the mining activity district. Multivariate statistical analysis indicated that the major contributing sources of the studied metals were metal ore mining, smelting, and processing activities. However, the composition of soil background was another potential source. Moreover, the assessment results of environment risks showed that the potential ecological risks, in decreasing order, were Cd > Pb > Zn > Cu > Ni > Cr > Mn. Additionally, the non-carcinogenic risk represented the trend of HI Pb > HI Mn > HI Zn > HI Cu , and the carcinogenic risk ranked as CR Cr > CR Cd > CR Ni . Among the environmental risk substances, Cd and Pb were the main contributors that pose ecological harm and health hazards through their serious pollution. Consequently, greater attention should be paid to this situation.