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Heavy metals and lead isotopes in soils, road dust and leafy vegetables and health risks via vegetable consumption in the industrial areas of Shanghai, China

Bi, Chunjuan, Zhou, Ya, Chen, Zhenlou, Jia, Jinpu, Bao, Xinyi
The Science of the total environment 2018 v.619-620 pp. 1349-1357
agricultural soils, arsenic, cadmium, cities, coal, copper, dust, emissions, estuaries, foliar uptake, green leafy vegetables, heavy metals, isotope labeling, isotopes, lead, mercury, municipal solid waste, pollution, power plants, risk, soil sampling, tissues, vegetable consumption, waste incineration, zinc, China, Yangtze River
Vegetable fields have a high risk of heavy metal contamination from pollution sources in suburban and industrial areas of cities. Eighty-seven soil samples, 106 leafy vegetables and 48 road dust samples were collected from industrial areas of Shanghai, China. We studied the levels of heavy metals, health risk through consumption of leafy vegetables, and sources of Pb in soils, road dust and leafy vegetables. Soil Cd, Zn, Pb, Cu, Hg and As concentrations exceeded the soil background values in 73.6%, 97.7%, 52.3%, 37.8%, 95.1% and 20.2% soil samples, respectively, but were below the criteria for agricultural soil in China, with the exception of Hg. The concentrations of Cd, Zn, Pb, Cu and As in road dust were significantly higher than concentrations in soils, while Hg concentration in road dust was lower. Cd, Zn, Pb, Hg and Cu concentrations in soils and Zn, Pb and Cu concentrations in road dust were greatest near the municipal solid waste incineration power plant. Heavy metal concentrations in the edible tissues of vegetables were not correlated with their total values in soils and varied among vegetable species. The trends in transfer factors (TFs) in different vegetables were Cd>Zn>Cu>As>Hg>Pb. There was low health risk from heavy metal exposure by consumption of vegetables based on Hazard Quotients (HQM): As was the major contributor to HQM, followed by Cd and Pb. Parent material of the Yangtze River Estuary was the major source of Pb in soils, while coal-fired, stationary industrial emissions and municipal waste incineration emissions were the major sources of Pb in dust and vegetables based on use of the lead isotopic tracing method. Accumulation of Pb in leafy vegetables was through foliar uptake and directly related to atmospheric Pb.