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Cadmium Accumulation Risk in Vegetables and Rice in Southern China: Insights from Solid-Solution Partitioning and Plant Uptake Factor

Yang, Yang, Wang, Meie, Chen, Wieping, Li, Yanling, Peng, Chi
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2017 v.65 no.27 pp. 5463-5469
cadmium, field experimentation, food contamination, food crops, ingestion, leaching, manganese, manganese oxides, paddies, probabilistic risk assessment, rice, risk, risk estimate, soil management, soil organic matter, soil pH, solubility, vegetables, zinc, China
Solid-solution partitioning coefficient (Kd) and plant uptake factor (PUF) largely determine the solubility and mobility of soil Cd to food crops. A four-year regional investigation was conducted in contaminated vegetable and paddy fields of southern China to quantify the variability in Kd and PUF. The distributions of Kd and PUF characterizing transfers of Cd from soil to vegetable and rice are probabilistic in nature. Dynamics in soil pH and soil Zn greatly affected the variations of Kd. In addition to soil pH, soil organic matter had a major influence on PUF variations in vegetables. Heavy leaching of soil Mn caused a higher Cd accumulation in rice grain. Dietary ingestion of 85.5% of the locally produced vegetable and rice would have adverse health risks, with rice consumption contributing 97.2% of the risk. A probabilistic risk analysis based on derived transfer function reveals the amorphous Mn oxide content exerts a major influence on Cd accumulation in rice in pH conditions below 5.5. Risk estimation and field experiments show that to limit the Cd concentration in rice grains, soil management strategies should include improving the pH and soil Mn concentration to around 6.0 and 345 mg kg–1, respectively. Our work illustrates that re-establishing a balance in trace elements in soils’ labile pool provides an effective risk-based approach for safer crop practices.