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J Environ Sci (China). 2006;18(6):1124-34.

Risk assessment of heavy metals in soils and vegetables around non-ferrous metals mining and smelting sites, Baiyin, China.

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Key Laboratory of Arid Agroecology (Under the Ministry of Education of China), Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China.


A field survey was conducted to investigate the metal and arsenic contamination in soils and vegetables on four villages (Shuichuan (SCH), Beiwan (BWA), Dongwan (DWA) and Wufe (WFE)) located along, Baiyin, China, and to evaluate the possible health risks to local population through foodchain. Results show that the most significantly contaminated soils occurred upstream at SCH where Cd, Cu and As concentrations exceeded maximum allowable concentrations for Chinese agricultural soil. Further downstream the degree of contamination semi-systematically decreased in concentrations of metal. Generally, the leafy vegetables were more heavily contaminated than non-leafy vegetables. Chinese cabbage is the most severely contaminated, the concentrations of Cd exceeded the maximum permit levels (0.05 mg/kg) by 4.5 times. Bio-accumulate factor also shows that an entry of Cd to food chain plants is the greatest potential. Furthermore, the estimated daily intake amounts of the considered toxic elements (Cd, Pb and Cu) from the vegetables grown at SCH and BWA and DWA have exceeded the recommended dietary allowance levels. Thus, the vegetables grown in three villages above, which affected by Baiyin mining and smelting have a health hazard for human consumption.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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