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Environ Geochem Health. 2009 Jun;31(3):379-90. doi: 10.1007/s10653-008-9177-6. Epub 2008 Jun 3.

Relationships between distributions of longevous population and trace elements in the agricultural ecosystem of Rugao County, Jiangsu, China.

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1
State Key Laboratory of Soil and Sustainable Agriculture, Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 721, Nanjing 210008, China. bhuang@issas.ac.cn

Abstract

Soil, plant, and water, as well as trace elements they contain, can influence human health through the food chain. A survey was conducted on distributions of trace elements in soils, plants, and drinking water in Rugao County, Jiangsu Province, China, an agricultural area with a high level of centenarians and nonagenarians. The ratio of people over 90 years old per 100,000 inhabitants (90-rate) based on village (about 4,000 residents in 4 km(2)) was correlated with trace elements in soil, drinking water, and rice by means of correlation analysis and/or principal component analysis. Although the average 90-rate in the whole area was as high as 277, the rates were not uniform across the entire region. The 90-rate in the area of loamy and strongly-developed Anthrosols and Cambosols was about 330, significantly higher than the 255 in the areas of sandy and strongly-developed Cambosols and of clayey and weakly-developed Cambosols. The concentrations of available Se, B, Ni, and Mo in soils of the area with the high 90-rate were markedly greater than those in the area with the low 90-rate. This was demonstrated by highly positive correlations between the 90-rate and available Se (r = 0.33), B (r = 0.21), Ni (r = 0.17) and Mo (r = 0.17) at the p < 0.01 level and high loadings of available Se (0.851), B (0.535), Ni (0.594) and Mo (0.394) in the longevous factor. Similar relationships between the available elements in soils and elements in water and rice were found. These results suggest that: (1) the available forms of elements in soil were more crucial to elemental bio-availability in the ecosystem and human health than total elements in soil; and (2) the element association above might have affected the 90-rate positively and could be an important environmental geochemical factor influencing the longevity of humans.

PMID:
18521708
DOI:
10.1007/s10653-008-9177-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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