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Assessment of Heavy Metal Pollution and Health Risks in the Soil-Plant-Human System in the Yangtze River Delta, China.
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017 09 10; 14(9)IJ

Abstract

Heavy metal (HM) contamination and accumulation is a serious problem around the world due to the toxicity, abundant sources, non-biodegradable properties, and accumulative behaviour of HMs. The degree of soil HM contamination in China, especially in the Yangtze River Delta, is prominent. In this study, 1822 pairs of soil and crop samples at corresponding locations were collected from the southern Yangtze River Delta of China, and the contents of Ni, Cr, Zn, Cd, As, Cu, Hg, and Pb were measured. The single pollution index in soil (SPI) and Nemerow composite pollution index (NCPI) were used to assess the degree of HM pollution in soil, and the crop pollution index (CPI) was used to explore the degree of HM accumulation in crops. The bioaccumulation factor (BAF) was used to investigate the translocation of heavy metals in the soil-crop system. The health risks caused by HMs were calculated based on the model released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The SPIs of all elements were at the unpolluted level. The mean NCPI was at the alert level. The mean CPIs were in the following decreasing order: Ni (1.007) > Cr (0.483) > Zn (0.335) > Cd (0.314) > As (0.232) > Cu (0.187) > Hg (0.118) > Pb (0.105). Only the mean content of Ni in the crops exceeded the national standard value. The standard exceeding rates were used to represent the percentage of samples whose heavy metal content is higher than the corresponding national standard values. The standard exceeding rates of Cu, Hg, and Cd in soil were significantly higher than corresponding values in crops. Meanwhile, the standard exceeding rates of Ni, As, and Cr in crops were significantly higher than corresponding values in soil. The chronic daily intake (CDI) of children (13.8 × 10-3) was the largest among three age groups, followed by adults (6.998 × 10-4) and seniors (5.488 × 10-4). The bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) of all crops followed the order Cd (0.249) > Zn (0.133) > As (0.076) > Cu (0.064) > Ni (0.018) > Hg (0.011) > Cr (0.010) > Pb (0.001). Therefore, Cd was most easily absorbed by crops, and different crops had different capacities to absorb HMs. The hazard quotient (HQ) represents the potential non-carcinogenic risk for an individual HM and it is an estimation of daily exposure to the human population that is not likely to represent an appreciable risk of deleterious effects during a lifetime. All the HQs of the HMs for the different age groups were significantly less than the alert value of 1.0 and were at a safe level. This indicated that citizens in the study area face low potential non-carcinogenic risk caused by HMs. The total carcinogens risks (TCRs) for children, adults, and seniors were 5.24 × 10-5, 2.65 × 10-5, and 2.08 × 10-5, respectively, all of which were less than the guideline value but at the alert level. Ingestion was the main pathway of carcinogen risk to human health.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Institute of Agricultural Remote Sensing and Information Technology Application, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310029, China. hubifeng@zju.edu.cn.Institute of Agricultural Remote Sensing and Information Technology Application, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310029, China. 21514120@zju.edu.cn.Institute of Agricultural Remote Sensing and Information Technology Application, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310029, China. jiehu@zju.edu.cn.Institute of Agricultural Remote Sensing and Information Technology Application, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310029, China. xdy900815@126.com.Institute of Agricultural Remote Sensing and Information Technology Application, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310029, China. maggie_xia@263.net.Institute of Land Science and Property, School of Public Affairs, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China. liyan522@zju.edu.cn.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

28891954

Citation

Hu, Bifeng, et al. "Assessment of Heavy Metal Pollution and Health Risks in the Soil-Plant-Human System in the Yangtze River Delta, China." International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 14, no. 9, 2017.
Hu B, Jia X, Hu J, et al. Assessment of Heavy Metal Pollution and Health Risks in the Soil-Plant-Human System in the Yangtze River Delta, China. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017;14(9).
Hu, B., Jia, X., Hu, J., Xu, D., Xia, F., & Li, Y. (2017). Assessment of Heavy Metal Pollution and Health Risks in the Soil-Plant-Human System in the Yangtze River Delta, China. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 14(9). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14091042
Hu B, et al. Assessment of Heavy Metal Pollution and Health Risks in the Soil-Plant-Human System in the Yangtze River Delta, China. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017 09 10;14(9) PubMed PMID: 28891954.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Assessment of Heavy Metal Pollution and Health Risks in the Soil-Plant-Human System in the Yangtze River Delta, China. AU - Hu,Bifeng, AU - Jia,Xiaolin, AU - Hu,Jie, AU - Xu,Dongyun, AU - Xia,Fang, AU - Li,Yan, Y1 - 2017/09/10/ PY - 2017/07/26/received PY - 2017/09/05/revised PY - 2017/09/06/accepted PY - 2017/9/12/entrez PY - 2017/9/12/pubmed PY - 2018/3/7/medline KW - bioaccumulation factors KW - carcinogens risk KW - hazard quotients KW - health risk assessment KW - heavy metals KW - soil-plant-human systems JF - International journal of environmental research and public health JO - Int J Environ Res Public Health VL - 14 IS - 9 N2 - Heavy metal (HM) contamination and accumulation is a serious problem around the world due to the toxicity, abundant sources, non-biodegradable properties, and accumulative behaviour of HMs. The degree of soil HM contamination in China, especially in the Yangtze River Delta, is prominent. In this study, 1822 pairs of soil and crop samples at corresponding locations were collected from the southern Yangtze River Delta of China, and the contents of Ni, Cr, Zn, Cd, As, Cu, Hg, and Pb were measured. The single pollution index in soil (SPI) and Nemerow composite pollution index (NCPI) were used to assess the degree of HM pollution in soil, and the crop pollution index (CPI) was used to explore the degree of HM accumulation in crops. The bioaccumulation factor (BAF) was used to investigate the translocation of heavy metals in the soil-crop system. The health risks caused by HMs were calculated based on the model released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The SPIs of all elements were at the unpolluted level. The mean NCPI was at the alert level. The mean CPIs were in the following decreasing order: Ni (1.007) > Cr (0.483) > Zn (0.335) > Cd (0.314) > As (0.232) > Cu (0.187) > Hg (0.118) > Pb (0.105). Only the mean content of Ni in the crops exceeded the national standard value. The standard exceeding rates were used to represent the percentage of samples whose heavy metal content is higher than the corresponding national standard values. The standard exceeding rates of Cu, Hg, and Cd in soil were significantly higher than corresponding values in crops. Meanwhile, the standard exceeding rates of Ni, As, and Cr in crops were significantly higher than corresponding values in soil. The chronic daily intake (CDI) of children (13.8 × 10-3) was the largest among three age groups, followed by adults (6.998 × 10-4) and seniors (5.488 × 10-4). The bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) of all crops followed the order Cd (0.249) > Zn (0.133) > As (0.076) > Cu (0.064) > Ni (0.018) > Hg (0.011) > Cr (0.010) > Pb (0.001). Therefore, Cd was most easily absorbed by crops, and different crops had different capacities to absorb HMs. The hazard quotient (HQ) represents the potential non-carcinogenic risk for an individual HM and it is an estimation of daily exposure to the human population that is not likely to represent an appreciable risk of deleterious effects during a lifetime. All the HQs of the HMs for the different age groups were significantly less than the alert value of 1.0 and were at a safe level. This indicated that citizens in the study area face low potential non-carcinogenic risk caused by HMs. The total carcinogens risks (TCRs) for children, adults, and seniors were 5.24 × 10-5, 2.65 × 10-5, and 2.08 × 10-5, respectively, all of which were less than the guideline value but at the alert level. Ingestion was the main pathway of carcinogen risk to human health. SN - 1660-4601 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/28891954/Assessment_of_Heavy_Metal_Pollution_and_Health_Risks_in_the_Soil_Plant_Human_System_in_the_Yangtze_River_Delta_China_ L2 - https://www.mdpi.com/resolver?pii=ijerph14091042 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -