Cadmium and Lead Pollution Characteristics of Soils, Vegetables and Human Hair Around an Open‐cast Lead‐zinc Mine

Abstract

Atmospheric deposition of cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) was investigated together with the accumulation, distribution and health risks from potentially toxic metals in soils, vegetables and human hair at a mining area in southwest China. Annual atmospheric deposition of Cd and Pb were 41.1 and 192 g ha− 1, respectively, and consisted mainly of dry deposition. Agricultural soils experienced high levels of metal pollution around the mine, with 66.4% and 57.3 % of vegetable samples grown on these polluted fields exceeding maximum permissible Cd and Pb concentrations, particularly the leafy vegetables. Residents living near the mining area had high Cd (0.75 mg kg− 1) and Pb (6.87 mg kg− 1) concentrations in their hair, and the maximum values occurred in occupationally exposed individuals. Long-term mining activities have resulted in high health risks to the local population due to Cd and Pb deposition and accumulation from the atmosphere, soils and vegetables.

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Acknowledgements

This research was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (42007132), the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2018YFC1802600) and the Yunnan Key Research and Development Program (2018BB017).

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Correspondence to Longhua Wu.

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Zhou, T., Wang, Z., Christie, P. et al. Cadmium and Lead Pollution Characteristics of Soils, Vegetables and Human Hair Around an Open‐cast Lead‐zinc Mine. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-021-03134-6

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Keywords

  • Atmospheric deposition
  • Health risk
  • Potentially toxic metals
  • Spatial distribution
  • Mining activity
  • Yunnan province