Advertisement

Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 23, pp 22606–22618 | Cite as

Contamination levels and health risk assessments of heavy metals in an oasis-desert zone: a case study in northwest China

  • Qingyu Guan
  • Na Song
  • Feifei Wang
  • Liqin Yang
  • Zeyu Liu
Research Article
  • 128 Downloads

Abstract

Rapid and extensive social and economic development has caused severe soil contamination by heavy metals in China. The spatial distribution, pollution levels, and health risks of metals were identified in an oasis-desert zone of northwest China. The mean concentrations of six heavy metals exceeded their corresponding background contents, and each metal concentration in farmland samples was higher than that in Gobi samples. Moreover, these heavy metals followed a similar spatial pattern and showed significant positive correlations with each other, indicating that they have the same sources. The contamination features of heavy metals and ecological risks were calculated using several quality indicators, and their health risks for population groups were quantified. The results showed that the Gobi and farmland soils were uncontaminated to moderately contaminated by heavy metals, and that farmland pollution was more serious than that of Gobi. The Gobi and farmland soils posed low ecological risks. As a whole, the non-carcinogenic risk which was caused by heavy metals was low for local residents, and the carcinogenic risk was within an acceptable level. Comparatively speaking, children were the more vulnerable population to health risks. The Zn and Cu pollution was relatively serious, and Cr and V were major contributors to health risks.

Graphical abstract

Keywords

Oasis-desert zone Heavy metals Pollution level Health risk assessments 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the editors and reviewers who have put considerable time and effort into their comments on this paper. We are grateful to the professional editing service (Elsevier Language Editing Services) for improving the language of our manuscript. This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41671188).

Supplementary material

11356_2018_2015_MOESM1_ESM.docx (47 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 47 kb)

References

  1. Aelion CM, Davis HT, McDermott S, Lawson AB (2009) Soil metal concentrations and toxicity: associations with distances to industrial facilities and implications for human health. Sci Total Environ 407(7):2216–2223CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ajmone-Marsan F, Biasioli M, Kralj T, Grcman H, Davidson CM, Hursthouse AS, Madrid L, Rodrigues S (2008) Metals in particle-size fractions of the soils of five European cities. Environ Pollut 152(1):73–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Avigliano E, Schenone NF (2015) Human health risk assessment and environmental distribution of trace elements, glyphosate, fecal coliform and total coliform in Atlantic rainforest mountain rivers (South America). Microchem J 122:149–158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bi X, Liang S, Li X (2013) A novel in situ method for sampling urban soil dust: particle size distribution, trace metal concentrations, and stable lead isotopes. Environ Pollut 177:48–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bian B, Lv L, Yang D, Zhou L (2014) Migration of heavy metals in vegetable farmlands amended with biogas slurry in the Taihu Basin, China. Ecol Eng 71:380–383CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bloxam TW, Aurora SN, Leach L, Rees TR (1972) Heavy metals in some river and bay sediments near Swansea. Nature 239(96):158–159Google Scholar
  7. Cao HB, Chen JJ, Zhang J, Zhang H, Qiao L, Men Y (2010) Heavy metals in rice and garden vegetables and their potential health risks to inhabitants in the vicinity of an industrial zone in Jiangsu, China. J Environ Sci 22(11):1792–1799CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cao S, Duan X, Zhao X, Ma J, Dong T, Huang N, Sun C, He B, Wei F (2014) Health risks from the exposure of children to as, se, Pb and other heavy metals near the largest coking plant in China. Sci Total Environ 472:1001–1009CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. CEPA (Chinese Environmental Protection Administration), 1995. Environmental quality standard for soils (GB 15618–1995). CEPA, Beijing (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  10. Cercasov V, Pantelica˘ SA, Schreiber H (1998) Comparative evaluation of some pollutants in the airborne particulate matter in eastern and Western Europe: two-city study, Bucharest-Stuttgart. Environ Pollut 101:331–337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. China National Environmental Monitoring Center (CNEMC) (1990) Background concentrations of elements of soils in China. Chinese Environment Science Press, Beijing (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  12. Chabukdhara M, Nema AK (2013) Heavy metals assessment in urban soil around industrial clusters in Ghaziabad, India: probabilistic health risk approach. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 87:57–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Chen HM, Zheng CR, Tu C, Zhu YG (1999) Heavy metal pollution in soils in China: status and countermeasures. Ambio 1999:130–134Google Scholar
  14. Chen X, Xia XH, Zhao Y, Zhang P (2010) Heavy metal concentrations in roadside soils and correlation with urban traffic in Beijing, China. J Hazard Mater 181(1–3):640–646CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Chen HY, Teng YG, Lu SJ, Wang YY, Wang JS (2015) Contamination features and health risk of soil heavy metals in China. Sci Total Environ 512:143–153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Chen T, Chang Q, Liu J, Clevers JGPW, Kooistra L (2016) Identification of soil heavy metal sources and improvement in spatial mapping based on soil spectral information: a case study in Northwest China. Sci Total Environ 565:155–164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Deletic AB, Orr DW (2005) Pollution buildup on road surfaces. J Environ Eng 131(1):49–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Furusjö E, Sternbeck J, Cousins AP (2007) Pm10 source characterization at urban and highway roadside locations. Sci Total Environ 387(1–3):206–219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gao X, Li P (2012) Concentration and fractionation of trace metals in surface sediments of intertidal Bohai Bay, China. Mar Pollut Bull 64(8):1529–1536CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gil C, Boluda R, Ramos J (2004) Determination and evaluation of cadmium, lead and nickel in greenhouse soils of Almerı’ıa (Spain). Chemosphere 55:1027–1034CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Gomes L, Arrúe JL, López MV, Sterk G, Richard D, Gracia R, Sabre M, Gaudichet A, Frangi JP (2003) Wind erosion in a semiarid agricultural area of Spain: the WELSONS project. Catena 52(3–4):235–256CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Guan QY, Wang L, Wang L, Pan BT, Zhao S, Zheng Y (2014) Analysis of trace elements (heavy metal based) in the surface soils of a deserteloess transitional zone in the south of the Tengger desert. Environ Earth Sci 72(8):3015–3023CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Guan QY, Wang L, Pan BT, Guan WQ, Sun XZ, Cai A (2016) Distribution features and controls of heavy metals in surface sediments from the riverbed of the Ningxia-inner Mongolian reaches, Yellow River, China. Chemosphere 144:29–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hakanson L (1980) An ecological risk index for aquatic pollution control: a sedimentological approach. Water Res 14:975–1001CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Huang SS, Liao QL, Hua M, Wu XM, Bi KS, Yan CY, Chen B, Zhang XY (2007) Survey of heavy metal pollution and assessment of agricultural soil in Yangzhong district, Jiangsu Province, China. Chemosphere 67:2148–2155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Huang CL, Bao LJ, Luo P, Wang ZY, Li SM, Zeng EY (2016) Potential health risk for residents around a typical e-waste recycling zone via inhalation of size-fractionated particle-bound heavy metals. J Hazard Mater 317:449–456CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lin S, Hsieh IJ, Huang KM, Wang CH (2002) Influence of the Yangtze River and grain size on the spatial variations of heavy metals and organic carbon in the East China Sea continental shelf sediments. Chem Geol 182(2–4):377–394CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lin Q, Liu E, Zhang E, Li K, Shen J (2016) Spatial distribution, contamination and ecological risk assessment of heavy metals in surface sediments of Erhai Lake, a large eutrophic plateau lake in Southwest China. Catena 145:193–203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Leung A, Duzgoren-Aydin NS, Cheung KC, Wong MH (2008) Heavy metals concentrations of surface dust from e-waste recycling and its human health implications in Southeast China. Environ Sci Technol 42:2674–2680CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Li ZY, Ma ZW, van der Kuijp TJ, Yuan ZW, Huang L (2014) A review of soil heavy metal pollution from mines in China: pollution and health risk assessment. Sci Total Environ 468:843–853CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Liu XM, Song QJ, Tang Y, Li WL, Xu JM, Wu JJ, Wang F, Brookes PC (2013) Human health risk assessment of heavy metals in soil-vegetable system: a multi-medium analysis. Sci Total Environ 463:530–540CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Liu G, Yu Y, Hou J, Xue W, Liu X, Liu Y, Wang W, Alsaedi A, Hayat T, Liu Z (2014) An ecological risk assessment of heavy metal pollution of the agricultural ecosystem near a lead-acid battery factory. Ecol Indic 47:210–218CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Liu XT, Zhai YB, Zhu Y, Liu YN, Chen HM, Li P, Peng C, Xu BB, Li CT, Zeng GM (2015) Mass concentration and health risk assessment of heavy metals in size-segregated airborne particulate matter in Changsha. Sci Total Environ 517:215–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Lough GC, Schauer JJ, Park JS, Shafer MM, Deminter JT, Weinstein JP (2005) Emissions of metals associated with motor vehicle roadways. Environ Sci Technol 39(3):826–836CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Luo L, Ma YB, Zhang SZ, Wei DP, Zhu YG (2009) An inventory of trace element inputs to agricultural soils in China. J Environ Manag 90(8):2524–2530CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Man YB, Sun XL, Zhao YG, Lopez BN, Chung SS, Wu SC, Cheung KC, Wong MH (2010) Health risk assessment of abandoned agricultural soils based on heavy metal contents in Hong Kong, the world’s most populated city. Environ Int 36(6):570–576CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Maanan M, Saddik M, Maanan M, Chaibi M, Assobhei O, Zourarah B (2015) Environmental and ecological risk assessment of heavy metals in sediments of Nador lagoon, Morocco. Ecol Indic 48:616–626CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Niu LL, Yang FX, Xu C, Yang HY, Liu WP (2013) Status of metal accumulation in farmland soils across China: from distribution to risk assessment. Environ Pollut 176:55–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Parra S, Bravo MA, Quiroz W, Moreno T, Karanasiou A, Font O, Vidal V, Cereceda F (2014). Distribution of trace elements in particle size fractions for contaminated soils by a copper smelting from different zones of the Puchuncavi­ Valley (Chile). Chemosphere 111:513–521.Google Scholar
  40. Pena-Fernandez A, Gonzalez-Munoz MJ, Lobo-Bedmar MC (2014) Establishing the importance of human health risk assessment for metals and metalloids in urban environments. Environ Int 72:176–185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Qu CS, Sun K, Wang SR, Huang L, Bi J (2012) Monte Carlo simulation-based health risk assessment of heavy metal soil pollution: a case study in the Qixia mining area, China. Hum Ecol Risk Assess 18(4):733–750CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Su YZ, Yang R (2008) Background concentrations of elements in surface soils and their changes as affected by agriculture use in the desert-oasis ecotone in the middle of Heihe River basin, north-West China. J Geochem Explor 98(3):57–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Sun YB, Zhou QX, Xie XK, Liu R (2010) Spatial, sources and risk assessment of heavy metal contamination of urban soils in typical regions of Shenyang, China. J Hazard Mater 174(1–3):455–462CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Tam NFY, Wong YS (2000) Spatial variation of heavy metals in surface sediments of Hong Kong mangrove swamps. Environ Pollut 110(2):195–205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Tian K, Huang B, Xing Z, Hu W (2017) Geochemical baseline establishment and ecological risk evaluation of heavy metals in greenhouse soils from Dongtai, China. Ecol Indic 72:510–520CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Tomlinson DL, Wilson JG, Harris CR, Jeffrey DW (1980) Problems in the assessment of heavy metals in estuaries and the formation of a pollution index. Helgolander Meeresun 33(1–4):566–575CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. US EPA (2011a) Integrated risk information system (IRIS), US Environmental Protection AgencyGoogle Scholar
  48. US EPA (2011b) Exposure factors handbook 2011 edition (Final). http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/risk/recordisplay.cfm ? deid = 236252
  49. US EPA (U. S. Environmental Protection Agency) (2002), Risk-based Concentration Table. United States Environmental Protection Agency, Washington DCGoogle Scholar
  50. US EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency) (2013) Region IX, regional screening levels (formerly PRGs). San Francisco, CA 94105. Available at: http://www.epa.gov/region9/superfund/prg/
  51. USEPA (1989) Risk assessment guidance for Superfund. Human health evaluation manual, (part A) [R], vol. 1. Washington, DC: Office of emergency and remedial response; [EPA/540/1–89/002]Google Scholar
  52. USEPA (2002) Supplemental guidance for developing soil screening levels for Superfund sites [R], Washington, DC: SoildWaste and emergency response; [OSWER 9355.4–24]Google Scholar
  53. Wang S, Shi FM, Pei ZJ (2015) Evaluation and analysis of farmland soils pollution status of Songnen plain: for example Suihua area of Heilongjiang Province [J]. J Northeast Agric Univ 46(5):75–83Google Scholar
  54. Wu ZY, Han M, Lin ZC, Ondov JM (1994) Chesapeake Bay atmospheric deposition study, year 1: sources and dry deposition of selected elements in aerosol particles. Atmos Environ 28:1471–1486CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Xiao Q, Zong YT, Lu SG (2015) Assessment of heavy metal pollution and human health risk in urban soils of steel industrial city (Anshan), Liaoning, northeast China. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 120:377–385CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Yang P, Mao R, Shao H, Gao Y (2009) An investigation on the distribution of eight hazardous heavy metals in the suburban farmland of China. J Hazard Mater 167(1–3):1246–1251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Yousaf B, Liu G, Wang R, Imtiaz M, Rizwan MS, Zia-Ur-Rehman M, Qadir A, Si Y (2016) The importance of evaluating metal exposure and predicting human health risks in urban-periurban environments influenced by emerging industry. Chemosphere 150:79–89CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Yuan GL, Sun TH, Han P, Li J, Lang XX (2014) Source identification and ecological risk assessment of heavy metals in topsoil using environmental geochemical mapping: typical urban renewal area in Beijing, China. J Geochem Explor 136:40–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Zhao S, Feng C, Yang Y, Niu J, Shen Z (2012) Risk assessment of sedimentary metals in the Yangtze estuary: new evidence of the relationships between two typical index methods. J Hazard Mater 241-242:164–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Zhao SP, Yu Y, Xia DS, Yin DY, He JJ, Liu N, Li F (2015) Urban particle size distributions during two contrasting dust events originating from Taklimakan and Gobi deserts. Environ Pollut 207:107–122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Zota AR, Schaider LA, Ettinger AS, Wright RO, Shine JP, Spengler JD (2011) Metal sources and exposures in the homes of young children living near a mining-impacted superfund site. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol 21(5):495–505CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qingyu Guan
    • 1
  • Na Song
    • 1
  • Feifei Wang
    • 1
  • Liqin Yang
    • 1
  • Zeyu Liu
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Western China’s Environmental Systems (Ministry of Education), College of Earth and Environmental SciencesLanzhou UniversityLanzhouChina

Personalised recommendations