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Lead, Zinc, and Cadmium in Vegetable/Crops in a Zinc Smelting Region and its Potential Human Toxicity


Lead, Zn, and Cd in vegetables/crops were investigated in a zinc smelting region in China, and their daily dietary intake by local residents was estimated. It is observed that Pb, Zn, and Cd were in 34.7–91.1, 242–575, and 0.199–2.23 μg g−1 dry weight in vegetables/crops with their greatest concentrations in leafy vegetable. The daily dietary intake of Pb, Zn, and Cd by adult residents reached 3, 646, 59,295, and 186 μg day, respectively, and lettuce and cabbage together contributed 75% of the Pb, 50% of the Zn, and 70% of the Cd.

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This study was funded in part by One Hundred Talent Plan of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), ‘Western Light’ Project of the CAS and Guizhou Province, and the Renovation Group Program of the National Nature Science Foundation of China (No. 40721002).

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Correspondence to Yuangen Yang.

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Yang, Y., Li, F., Bi, X. et al. Lead, Zinc, and Cadmium in Vegetable/Crops in a Zinc Smelting Region and its Potential Human Toxicity. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 87, 586 (2011).

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  • Heavy metals
  • Daily dietary intake
  • Dietary habit