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A review of soil heavy metal pollution from industrial and agricultural regions in China: Pollution and risk assessment

Yang, Qianqi, Li, Zhiyuan, Lu, Xiaoning, Duan, Qiannan, Huang, Lei, Bi, Jun
The Science of the total environment 2018 v.642 pp. 690-700
adults, arsenic, cadmium, children, databases, food crops, health effects assessments, heavy metals, industrial sites, lead, mining, plantations, pollution, risk, risk assessment, soil, China
Soil heavy metal pollution has been becoming serious and widespread in China. To date, there are few studies assessing the nationwide soil heavy metal pollution induced by industrial and agricultural activities in China. This review obtained heavy metal concentrations in soils of 402 industrial sites and 1041 agricultural sites in China throughout the document retrieval. Based on the database, this review assessed soil heavy metal concentration and estimated the ecological and health risks on a national scale. The results revealed that heavy metal pollution and associated risks posed by cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb) and arsenic (As) are more serious. Besides, heavy metal pollution and associated risks in industrial regions are severer than those in agricultural regions, meanwhile, those in southeast China are severer than those in northwest China. It is worth noting that children are more likely to be affected by heavy metal pollution than adults. Based on the assessment results, Cd, Pb and As are determined as the priority control heavy metals; mining areas are the priority control areas compared to other areas in industrial regions; food crop plantations are the priority control areas in agricultural regions; and children are determined as the priority protection population group. This paper provides a comprehensive ecological and health risk assessment on the heavy metals in soils in Chinese industrial and agricultural regions and thus provides insights for the policymakers regarding exposure reduction and management.