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Preliminary Risk Assessment of Trace Metal Pollution in Surface Water from Yangtze River in Nanjing Section, China

An Erratum to this article was published on 26 February 2009


In order to investigate the contamination levels of trace metals, surface water samples were collected from six regions along Yangtze River in Nanjing Section. The concentrations of trace metals (As, B, Ba, Be, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Pb, Li, Mn, Mo, Ni, Sb, Se, Sn, Sr, V and Zn) were determined using inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES). Total concentrations of the metals in the water samples ranged from 825.1 to 950.4 μg/L. The result was compared with international water quality guidelines. Seven metals levels were above the permissible limit as prescribed by guidelines. A preliminary risk assessment was then carried out to determine the human health risk via calculating Hazard Quotient and carcinogenic risk of the metals. Hazard Quotients of all metals were lower than unity, except As. The carcinogenic risk of As and Cd was higher than 10−6, suggesting that those two metals have potential adverse effects on local residents.

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This research was financially supported by the Nanjing University Innovative Foundation (2006071009) and the International Foundation for Science (W/4215-1).

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Correspondence to S. P. Cheng.

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An erratum to this article can be found at

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Wu, B., Zhao, D.Y., Jia, H.Y. et al. Preliminary Risk Assessment of Trace Metal Pollution in Surface Water from Yangtze River in Nanjing Section, China. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 82, 405–409 (2009).

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  • Risk assessment
  • Trace metal
  • Yangtze River