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PLoS One. 2013 Sep 6;8(9):e75007. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0075007. eCollection 2013.

Health risk assessment of heavy metals in rice to the population in Zhejiang, China.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, the First Affiliated Hospital, College of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.


Environmental pollution with toxic heavy metals can lead to the possible contamination of the rice. Selected metals (As, Cd, Hg and Pb) and their accumulation in rice collected from Zhejiang, China were analyzed to evaluate the potential health risk to the local adults and children. The mean levels found in rice were as follows: As, 0.080 mg/kg; Cd, 0.037 mg/kg; Hg, 0.005 mg/kg; Pb, 0.060 mg/kg. The estimated daily intakes (EDIs) were calculated in combination of the rice consumption data. The mean intakes of As, Cd, Hg and Pb through rice were estimated to be 0.49, 0.23, 0.03 and 0.37 µg/kg bw/day for adults, and 0.34, 0.29, 0.04 and 0.47 µg/kg bw/day for children. The 97.5th percentile (P97.5) daily intakes of As, Cd, Hg and Pb were 1.02, 0.64, 0.37 and 1.26 µg/kg bw/day for adults, and 0.63, 0.83, 0.47 and 1.63 µg/kg bw/day for children. The risk assessment in mean levels showed that health risk associated with these elements through consumption of rice was absent. However, estimates in P97.5 level of Cd and Pb for children, and Hg for adults have exceeded the respective safe limits.

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