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Bull Environ Contam Toxicol. 2014 Apr;92(4):427-32. doi: 10.1007/s00128-014-1218-5. Epub 2014 Feb 13.

Metal pollution (Cd, Pb, Zn, and As) in agricultural soils and soybean, Glycine max, in southern China.

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Guangdong Subcenter of National Center for Soybean Improvement, Guangzhou, 510642, China.


Crops produced on metal-polluted agricultural soils may lead to chronic toxicity to humans via the food chain. To assess metal pollution in agricultural soils and soybean in southern China, 30 soybean grain samples and 17 soybean-field soil samples were collected from 17 sites in southern China, and metal concentrations of samples were analyzed by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrophotometer. The integrated pollution index was used to evaluate if the samples were contaminated by Cd, Pb, Zn and As. Results showed that Cd concentration of 12 samples, Pb concentration of 2 samples, Zn concentration of 2 samples, and As concentrations of 2 samples were above the maximum permissible levels in soils. The integrated pollution index indicated that 11 of 17 soil samples were polluted by metals. Metal concentrations in soybean grain samples ranged from 0.11 to 0.91 mg kg(-1) for Cd; 0.34 to 2.83 mg kg(-1) for Pb; 42 to 88 mg kg(-1) for Zn; and 0.26 to 5.07 mg kg(-1) for As, which means all 30 soybean grain samples were polluted by Pb, Pb/Cd, Cd/Pb/As or Pb/As. Taken together, our study provides evidence that metal pollution is an important concern in agricultural soils and soybeans in southern China.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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