Mining and smelting areas in Hezhang have generated a large amount of heavy metals into the environment. For that cause, an evaluative study on human exposure to heavy metals including Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cr, As, Cd, Pb, Sb, Bi, Be, and Hg in hair and urine was conducted for their concentrations and correlations. Daily exposure and non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic risk were estimated. Sixty-eight scalp hair and 66 urine samples were taken from participants of different ages (6–17, 18–40, 41–60, and ≥ 65 years) living in the vicinity of an agricultural soil near mine and smelting areas. The results compared to the earlier studies showed an elevated concentration of Pb, Be, Bi, Co, Cr, Ni, Sb, and Zn in hair and urine. These heavy metals were more elevated in mining than in smelting. Considering gender differences, females were likely to be more affected than male. By investigating age differences in this area, high heavy metal concentrations in male’s hair and urine existed in age of 18–40 and ≥ 66, respectively. However, females did not present homogeneous age distribution. Hair and urine showed a different distribution of heavy metals in different age and gender. In some cases, significant correlation was found between heavy metals in hair and urine (P > 0.05 and P > 0.01) in mining area. The estimated average daily intake of heavy metals in vegetables showed a great contribution compared to the soil and water. Non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic risk values of total pathways in mining and smelting areas were higher than 1 and exceeded the acceptable levels. Thus, the obtained data might be useful for further studies. They can serve as a basis of comparison and assessing the effect of simultaneous exposure from heavy metals in mining and smelting areas, and potential health risks from exposure to heavy metals in vegetables need more consideration.
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 19, 2017
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