Environmental Geochemistry and Health

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 131–133 | Cite as

Arsenic in garden soils and vegetable crops in Cornwall, England: Implications for human health

  • Jialin Xu
  • Iain Thornton


Total concentrations of arsenic in surface (0–15cm) garden soils in the historical mining area of Hayle-Camborne-Godolphin, Cornwall, England are large and range widely (144–892 μg/g). Amounts of water soluble and acid-fluoride extractable soil arsenic are significantly correlated with total content.

Examination of 6 salad and vegetable crops grown in 32 gardens has shown arsenic concentrations in the edible tissues to be only slightly elevated. There were strong correlations between arsenic in beetroot, lettuce, onion and peas and soil arsenic (total, water soluble and acid extractable). Regression equations have been calculated. Ridge regression analysis applied to test the importance of other soil variables has shown both iron and phosphorus to influence the uptake of arsenic.

Arsenic in all the vegetables sampled was below the statutory limit in the U.K. of 1 mg/kg fresh weight. Implications for health should be assessed in relation to other exposure routesvia water, air and directly ingested dust and soil.


Phosphorus Dust Arsenic Geochemistry Regression Analysis 
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Copyright information

© Sciences and Technology Letters 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jialin Xu
    • 1
  • Iain Thornton
    • 1
  1. 1.Applied Geochemistry Research GroupImperial CollegeLondon

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