Accumulation and potential health risks of cadmium, lead and arsenic in vegetables grown near mining sites in Northern Vietnam
The effect of environmental pollution on the safety of vegetable crops is a serious global public health issue. This study was conducted to assess heavy metal concentrations in soil, irrigation water, and 21 local vegetable species collected from four sites near mining activities and one control site in Northern Vietnam. Soils from vegetable fields in the mining areas were contaminated with cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), and arsenic (As), while irrigation water was contaminated with Pb. Average concentrations of Pb and As in fresh vegetable samples collected at the four mining sites exceeded maximum levels (MLs) set by international food standards for Pb (70.6 % of vegetable samples) and As (44.1 % of vegetable samples), while average Cd concentrations in vegetables at all sites were below the MLs of 0.2. The average total target hazard quotient (TTHQ) across all vegetable species sampled was higher than the safety threshold of 1.0, indicating a health risk. Based on the weight of evidence, we find that cultivation of vegetables in the studied mining sites is an important risk contributor for local residents’ health.
KeywordsHeavy metal Vegetable Mining site Health risk Northern Vietnam
This research was funded by the Vietnam National Foundation for Science and Technology Development (NAFOSTED) under grant number 105.08-2014.12.
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