Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 18, pp 17434–17443 | Cite as

Distribution, relationship, and risk assessment of toxic heavy metals in walnuts and growth soil

  • Yongxiang Han
  • Zhanglin Ni
  • Shiliang Li
  • Minghua Qu
  • Fubin Tang
  • Runhong Mo
  • Caifen Ye
  • Yihua Liu
Research Article


Walnut is one of the most popular nuts worldwide and contains various mineral nutrients. Little is known, however, about the relationship between toxic heavy metals in walnuts and growth soil. In this study, we investigated the distribution, relationship, and risk assessment of five toxic heavy metals—lead (Pb), arsenic (As), chromium (Cr), cadmium (Cd), and mercury (Hg)—in walnuts and growth soil in the main production areas of China. The results showed that the main heavy metal pollution in walnut and soil was Pb and Cd. Regionally, positive relationships existed between heavy metals and the pH and organic matter of soil. In addition, we observed a notable uptake effect between walnut and growth soil. In this study, we found a significant correlation (r = 0.786, P < 0.05) between the bioconcentration factors and the longitude of the sampling areas. The risks (total hazard quotients) of five heavy metals toward children and adults by dietary walnut consumption were 46.8 and 56.2%, respectively. The ability to identify toxic heavy metal pollution in walnuts and growth soil could be helpful to screen suitable planting sites to prevent and control heavy metal pollution and improve the quality and safety of walnut.


Walnut Soil Heavy metal Relationship Health assessment 


Funding information

This study was supported by the Fundamental Research Funds of CAF (CAFYBB2017QC002).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

11356_2018_1896_MOESM1_ESM.doc (78 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 78 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Institute of Subtropical ForestryChinese Academy of ForestryFuyangChina

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