A deterministic and stochastic assessment for exposure and risk of arsenic via ingestion of edible crops

  • Begum Can-Terzi
  • Orhan GunduzEmail author
  • Sait C. SofuogluEmail author
Research Article


Natural arsenic contamination is a critical problem for various places around the world. Simav Plain (Kutahya, Turkey) is one such area that was shown to have natural arsenic contamination in its waters and soils. Arsenic exposure through ingestion of edible crops cultivated in Simav Plain and associated health risks were assessed in this study. To achieve this objective, arsenic levels in 18 crop species were estimated based on measured soil arsenic concentrations. Individual and aggregate non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic risks associated with ingestion of arsenic-contaminated crops were then assessed with scenario-based deterministic point estimates and stochastic population estimates. Monte Carlo simulation was used for the estimation of population health risks. Accordingly, wheat was found as the highest-ranked crop specie for the both types of health risks, followed by tomato and potato, which are three of the most consumed crops in the region. The risk levels estimated in this study were relatively high, indicating consumption of crops grown in the plain may be posing significant health risks even at lower-bound estimates. Consuming wheat, tomato, potato, and their products from uncontaminated sources was found to reduce the aggregate risks up to 88% implicating the importance of proposing suitable management measures for similar risk-prone areas.


Arsenic Ingestion exposure Risk assessment Edible crops Simav Plain Turkey 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental EngineeringIzmir Institute of TechnologyIzmirTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Environmental EngineeringDokuz Eylul UniversityIzmirTurkey

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