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Environ Geochem Health. 2006 Feb-Apr;28(1-2):37-44.

Risk assessment for safety of soils and vegetables around a lead/zinc mine.

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Institute for Soil and Water Resources and Environmental Science, Zhejiang University, 310029 Hangzhou, China.


Concentrations of heavy metals (Pb, Zn, Cd, Cu) were determined in soils and vegetables (chrysanthemum, spinach and four cultivars of Chinese cabbage from the area adjacent to a Pb/Zn mine in Shaoxing, Zhejiang province, China, and compared with the Chinese National Standards for Soil Environmental Quality. The accumulation of heavy metals in cabbage cv. Siyuegreen was investigated at different distances from the center of the mine. The vegetable plantation soils were polluted with Pb, Cd, Cu and Zn, especially by Pb and Cd. The levels of Pb and Cd were 20 and 30 times higher than the permitted standards, indicating that this Pb/Zn mining area is unsuitable for agricultural use. Chinese cabbage, chrysanthemum and spinach had different enrichment coefficients. The enrichment coefficient of Cd from soil to roots of chrysanthemum was >80% and from roots to leaves of cabbage cv. Shanghaigreen was >120%. These vegetables were polluted by heavy metals and could not be regarded as safe for human consumption. Environmental accumulation of heavy metals in the vegetable plantation soils was proportional to heavy metal accumulation in vegetables and both were inversely proportional to the distance from the lead/zinc mine.

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