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Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2018 Nov 15;163:153-164. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2018.07.057. Epub 2018 Jul 24.

Pollution and health risk assessment of heavy metals in agricultural soil, atmospheric dust and major food crops in Kermanshah province, Iran.

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Department of Soil Science, College of Agriculture, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan 84156-83111, Iran. Electronic address:
Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Razi University, Kermanshah 6715685438, Iran.
Department of Soil Science, College of Agriculture, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan 84156-83111, Iran.
Soil and Water Research Institute (SWRI), Agricultural Research Education and Extension Organization, Karaj 31785-311, Iran.


A total of 167 samples of agricultural soil, atmospheric dust and food crops (wheat and maize) were collected, and four heavy metals, including Zn, Cu, Ni, and Cr, were analyzed for their concentrations, pollution levels and human health risks. The mean heavy metal contents in the agricultural soil and atmospheric dust were exceeds background values and lower than their IEQS (Iranian Environmental Quality Standard) with an exception of Ni. A pollution assessment by Geo-accumulation Index (Igeo) showed that the pollution levels were in the order of Ni> Cu> Cr> Zn for agricultural soils and Ni> Cu> Zn> Cr for atmospheric dust. The Ni levels can be considered "moderately to heavily contaminated" status. The human health risk assessment indicated that non-carcinogenic values were below the threshold values (1), and main exposure pathway of heavy metals to both children and adults are ingestion. The carcinogenic risks values for Ni and Cr were higher than the safe value (1 × 10-6), suggesting that all receptors (especially wheat) in Kermanshah province might have significant and acceptable potential health risk because of exposure to Ni and Cr. The carcinogenic risk for children and adults has a descending order of Ni> Cr, except for wheat. These results provide basic information on heavy metal contamination control and human health risk assessment management in the Kermanshah province.


Agricultural soil; Atmospheric dust; Health risk assessment; Heavy metals; Kermanshah; Pollution levels

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