Arsenic bioaccessibility in a gold mining area: a health risk assessment for children
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High concentrations of total arsenic (As) have been measured in soils of gold mining areas of Brazil. However, bioaccessibility tests have not yet been conducted on those materials, which is essential for better health risk estimates. This study aimed at evaluating As bioaccessibility in samples from a gold mining area located in Brazil and assessing children’s exposure to As-contaminated materials. Samples were collected from different materials (a control and four As-contaminated soils/sediments) found in a gold mine area located in Paracatu (MG), Brazil. Total and bioaccessible As concentrations were determined for all samples. The control soil presented the lowest As concentrations, while all other materials contained high total As concentrations (up to 2,666 mg kg−1) and low bioaccessible As percentage (<4.2%), indicating a low risk from exposure of resident children next to this area. The calculated dose of exposure indicated that, except for the pond tailings, in all other areas, the exposure route considering soil ingestion contributed at most to 9.7% of the maximum As allowed ingestion per day (0.3 μg kg−1 BW day−1).
KeywordsTrace elements In vitro tests Human health Anthropogenic impacts Environmental contamination
The authors acknowledge The National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq Grant 577513/2008-7); The Research Foundation of the State of Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG Grants CAG PPM 187-09 & CAG APQ 118-09); and The Kinross Canada-Brazil Network for Advanced Education and Research in Land Resource Management for their financial support.
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