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Health risks to metals in multimedia via ingestion pathway for children in a typical urban area of China

Wang, Beibei, Duan, Xiaoli, Feng, Weiying, He, Jia, Cao, Suzhen, Liu, Shasha, Shi, Di, Wang, Hongyang, Wu, Fengchang
Chemosphere 2019 v.226 pp. 381-387
arsenic, cadmium, carcinogenicity, children, chromium, diet, drinking water, geophagia, health effects assessments, humans, immune system, industrialization, ingestion, lead, manganese, oral exposure, pollution, risk, soil, urban areas, urban population, urbanization, China
With the rapid development of the industrialization and urbanization, the urban environment was heavily contaminated by metals. Therefore, studies on health risk assessment of exposure to metals for urban population is necessary and urgent, especially for children, who are more susceptible to environmental pollution due to their undeveloped immune system. Moreover, ingestion has been proved to be the most important pathway of human metals exposure. Therefore, typical metals, including Lead(Pb), Cadmium(Cd), Arsenic(As), Chromium(Cr), and Manganese(Mn), were analyzed in duplicated diet, drinking water, and soil in this study. The integrated risks of oral exposure to these metals for the local children were then evaluated on a field sampling and measured child-specific exposure factors basis. Results showed that the studied urban environments were polluted by metals to a certain degree. Food ingestion was the largest, which accounted for 66.7%–98.4%. Furthermore, soil ingestion was also a non-negligible exposure route, which accounted for 29.7% for Pb. The combined oral non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic risks all exceeding the corresponding maximum acceptable levels. The non-carcinogenic risk was mainly attributed to the food ingestion of As and Cr, and the soil ingestion of As, while, the carcinogenic risk was mainly attributed to the food ingestion of As and Cr, and the soil ingestion of Cr. This study emphasizes attentions should be paid to children in urban areas due to the potential adverse health risk associated with metals via oral exposure pathway.