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Source apportionment and health risk assessment of heavy metals in agricultural soils in Xinglonggang, Northeastern China

Song, Tiejun, Su, Xiaosi, He, Jin, Liang, Yukai, Zhou, Tao
Human and ecological risk assessment 2018 v.24 no.2 pp. 509-521
agricultural soils, arsenic, breathing, cadmium, carcinogens, chromium, copper, exposure pathways, health effects assessments, heavy metals, human health, ingestion, irrigation, lead, mineral fertilizers, nickel, pesticides, principal component analysis, risk, risk assessment, soil sampling, vanadium, zinc, China
Heavy metals in soil can affect human health through the exposure pathways of oral ingestion, dermal contact, and inhalation. In this study, to assess the health risk of heavy metals in the agricultural area of Xinglonggang, 52 soil samples were collected and tested to obtain the concentrations of As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, V, and Zn in the soil. The enrichment factor indicated that the heavy metals of the agricultural soils were enriched, but the degree of enrichment was mild for all of the heavy metals. Coefficient analysis and principal component analysis indicated that V, Cr, Ni, and Pb were mainly from natural sources, As was from irrigation, Cu and Cd tended to be from chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and Zn was from mixed sources including irrigation, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides. A human-health risk assessment indicated that the residents in the study area face high risk from carcinogens and low risk from noncarcinogens; As and Cr are the major heavy metals affecting human health. This study provides a reference and a basis for formulating effective measures to prevent and control heavy metal enrichment in agricultural soils.