Potentially toxic elements (PTEs) in crops, soil, and water near Xiangtan manganese mine, China: potential risk to health in the foodchain

  • Xin Luo
  • Bozhi RenEmail author
  • Andrew S. Hursthouse
  • Feng Jiang
  • Ren-jian Deng
Original Research


The pollution from large-scale manganese mining and associated industries in Xiangtan (south Central China) has created a significant burden on the local environment. The proximity of mining, and other industrial activity to the local population, is of concern and impact of past industrial on the food chain was evaluated by the assessment of common food groups (rice, soybean, and sweet potato), and the associated soil and water in the region. We focused on specific potentially toxic elements (PTEs): Mn, Pb, Cd, Cr, Cu, and Zn associated with industrial activity, identifying the distribution of pollution, the potential significance of total health index (THI) for local people and its spatial distribution. The study area showed severe contamination for Mn, followed by Cd and Pb, while other PTEs showed relatively light levels of pollution. When analyzing the impact on crops exceeding the tolerance limit, the dominant PTEs were Mn, Cd, and Pb, with lower significance for Zn, Cu, and Cr. The average THI value for adults is 4.63, while for children, is 5.17, greatly exceeding the recommended limit (HQ > 1), confirming a significant health risk. In the spatial distribution of the THI, the region shows strong association with the transport and industrial processing infrastructure. Long-term management needs to consider remediation aligned to specific industrial operations and enhance contamination control measures of ongoing activity.


Manganese mining area Potentially toxic elements Health risk assessment Spatial distribution Total health risk 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 41472328) and the Ministry of Education in China Project of Humanities and Social Science (2019JJ40081).

Supplementary material

10653_2019_454_MOESM1_ESM.docx (176 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 175 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xin Luo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Bozhi Ren
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Andrew S. Hursthouse
    • 1
    • 3
  • Feng Jiang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ren-jian Deng
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Hunan Provincial Key Laboratory of Shale Gas Resource ExploitationXiangtanChina
  2. 2.School of Civil EngineeringHunan University of Science and TechnologyXiangtanChina
  3. 3.School of Computing Engineering and Physical SciencesUniversity of the West of ScotlandPaisleyUK

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