Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 17, pp 16852–16863 | Cite as

Risk assessment, spatial distribution, and source apportionment of heavy metals in Chinese surface soils from a typically tobacco cultivated area

  • Haiwei Liu
  • Haiyun Wang
  • Yan Zhang
  • Jumin Yuan
  • Yaodong Peng
  • Xiuchun Li
  • Yi Shi
  • Kuanxin He
  • Qiming Zhang
Research Article


The heavy metals (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, and Zn) in the surface soils of tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) fields in Jiangxi Province were analyzed, and the mean heavy metal concentrations were 3.55, 0.19, 25.89, 14.96, 0.25, 10.89, 27.80, and 44.00 mg/kg, respectively. Spatial distribution analysis showed that the highest concentrations were recorded in the north-western, south-western, and mid-eastern parts of the study area. The index of geo-accumulation and pollution index indicated modest enrichment with Cd and Hg, which were the only two metals posing a potentially high ecological risk to the local agricultural environment. The health risk assessment showed no considerable non-carcinogenic or carcinogenic risks for children and adults from these elements. The principal component analysis (PCA) and cluster analysis (CA) found that the variations in the Cr and Ni concentrations were largely on account of the soil parent rocks, but the As, Cd, Cu, and Hg variations in the soil were largely owing to agricultural practices of years. However, the main factor influencing Pb and Zn was atmospheric deposition.


Agricultural soil Ecological risk assessment Health risk assessment Tobacco Source identification 



We acknowledge the financial support from the Program of Science and Technology of Jiangxi (No. 201101005), the Special Fund for Agro-scientific Research in the Public Interest (No. 201203091), and the Agricultural Science and Technology Innovation Program (ASTIP-TRIC03).

Supplementary material

11356_2018_1866_MOESM1_ESM.doc (989 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 989 kb)


  1. Abdelhafez AA, Li J (2015) Environmental monitoring of heavy metal status and human health risk assessment in the agricultural soils of the Jinxi river area, China. Hum Ecol Risk Assess 21:952–971CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Cai L, Xu Z, Ren M, Guo Q, Hu X, Hu G, Wan H, Peng P (2012) Source identification of eight hazardous heavy metals in agricultural soils of Huizhou, Guangdong Province, China. Ecotox Environ Safe 78:2–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chen T, Liu X, Zhu M, Zhao K, Wu J, Xu J, Huang P (2008) Identification of trace element sources and associated risk assessment in vegetable soils of the urban–rural transitional area of Hangzhou, China. Environ Pollut 151:67–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. CNEMC (1990) China National Environmental Monitoring Centre. Background values of elements in soils of China. Environmental Science Press Inc, Beijing (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  5. Du P, Xie Y, Wang S, Zhao H, Zhang Z, Bin W, Li F (2015) Potential sources of and ecological risks from heavy metals in agricultural soils, Daye City, China. Environ Sci Pollut Res 22:3498–3507CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Duan J, Tan J (2013) Atmospheric heavy metals and arsenic in China: situation, sources and control policies. Atmos Environ 74:93–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dung TTT, Cappuyns V, Swennen R, Phung NK (2013) From geochemical background determination to pollution assessment of heavy metals in sediments and soils. Rev Environ Sci Biotechnol 12:335–353CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Grisan S, Polizzotto R, Raiola P, Cristiani S, Ventura F, Lucia F, Zuin M, Tommasini S, Morbidelli R, Damiani F, Pupilli F, Bellucci M (2016) Alternative use of tobacco as a sustainable crop for seed oil, biofuel, and biomass. Agron Sustain 36:55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hakanson L (1980) An ecological risk index for aquatic pollution control: a sedimentological approach. Water Res 14:975–1001CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hu W, Huang B, He Y, Kalkhajeh KY (2016) Assessment of potential health risk of heavy metals in soils from a rapidly developing region of China. Hum Ecol Risk Assess 22:211–225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 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
  12. Jiang Y, Chao S, Liu J, Yang Y, Chen Y, Zhang A, Cao H (2017) Source apportionment and health risk assessment of heavy metals in soil for a township in Jiangsu Province, China. Chemosphere 168:1658–1668CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kelepertzis E (2014) Accumulation of heavy metals in agricultural soils of Mediterranean: insights from Argolida basin, Peloponnese, Greece. Geoderma 221–222:82–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Khan S, Cao Q, Zheng Y, Huang Y, Zhu Y (2008) Health risks of heavy metals in contaminated soils and food crops irrigated with wastewater in Beijing, China. Environ Pollut 152:686–692CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Krishna AK, Mohan KR (2016) Distribution, correlation, ecological and health risk assessment of heavy metal contamination in surface soils around an industrial area, Hyderabad, India. Environ Earth Sci 75:411CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Li Z, Ma Z, Kuijp TJ, Yuan Z, Huang L (2014) A review of soil heavy metal pollution from mines in China: pollution and health risk assessment. Sci Total Environ 468–469:843–853CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Liang J, Feng C, Zeng G, Gao X, Zhong M, Li X, Li X, He X, Fang Y (2017) Spatial distribution and source identification of heavy metals in surface soils in a typical coal mine city, Lianyuan, China. Environ Pollut 225:681–690CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lin B, Gao H, Lai H, Li C, Wang Q (2017) Characterization of heavy metals in soils from typical tobacco cultivated areas, China. Environ Progr Sustain 36:483–488CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Liu G, Tao L, Liu X, Hou J, Wang A, Li R (2013) Heavy metal speciation and pollution of agricultural soils along Jishui River in non-ferrous metal mine area in Jiangxi Province, China. J Geochem Explor 132:156–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Liu B, Ma X, Ai S, Zhu S, Zhang W, Zhang Y (2016a) Spatial distribution and source identification of heavy metals in soils under different land uses in a sewage irrigation region, northwest China. J Soils Sediments 16:1547–1556CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Liu H, Wang H, Ma Y, Wang H, Shi Y (2016b) Role of transpiration and metabolism in translocation and accumulation of cadmium in tobacco plants (Nicotiana tabacum L.). Chemosphere 144:1960–1965CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Liu H, Zhang Y, Zhou X, You X, Shi Y, Xu J (2017) Source identification and spatial distribution of heavy metals in tobacco growing soils in Shandong province of China with multivariate and geostatistical analysis. Environ Sci Pollut Res 24:5964–5975CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Luo L, Ma Y, Zhang S, Wei D, Zhu Y (2009) An inventory of trace element inputs to agricultural soils in China. J Environ Manag 90:2524–2530CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Luo XS, Ding J, Xu B, Wang YJ, Li HB, Yu S (2012) Incorporating bioaccessibility into human health risk assessments of heavy metals in urban park soils. Sci Total Environ 424:88–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. MEP (1995) Ministry of Environmental Protection, the People’s Republic of China. Environmental quality standard for soils (GB 15618-1995). China Environmental Science Press, Beijing (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  26. MEP (2014) Ministry of Environmental Protection, the People’s Republic of China. Technical guidelines for risk assessment of contaminated sites (HJ 25.3-2014). China Environmental Science Press, Beijing (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  27. MOA (2004) Ministry of Agriculture, the People’s Republic of China. Environment requirement for growing area of tobacco (NY/T 852-2004). China Agriculture Press, Beijing (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  28. Müller G (1979) Schwermetalle in den Sedimenten des Rheins-Veränderungen seit 1971. Umschau in Wissenschaft und Technik 79(24):778–783 (in German)Google Scholar
  29. Nemerow NL (1974) Scientific stream pollution analysis. McGraw-Hill Book Company, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  30. Saha N, Rahman MS, Jolly YN, Rahman A, Sattar MA, Hai MA (2016) Spatial distribution and contamination assessment of six heavy metals in soils and their transfer into mature tobacco plants in Kushtia District, Bangladesh. Environ Sci Pollut Res 23:3414–3426CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Teng Y, Li J, Wu J, Lu S, Wang Y, Chen H (2015) Environmental distribution and associated human health risk due to trace elements and organic compounds in soil in Jiangxi province, China. Ecotox Environ Safe 122:406–416CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. USEPA (1989) Risk assessment guidance for superfund. Volume I. Human health evaluation manual (part A). Washington, DC, EPA/540/1–89/002Google Scholar
  33. USEPA (1997) Exposure factors handbook (final report, 1997). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/P-95/002F a-cGoogle Scholar
  34. USEPA (2001) Baseline human health risk assessment. Vasquez Boulevard and I-70 superfund site Denver, Denver (Co)Google Scholar
  35. USEPA (2002) Supplemental guidance for developing soil screening levels for Superfund sites. Washington, DC: Solid Waste and Emergency Response; [OSWER 9355.4–24]Google Scholar
  36. Wei BG, Yang LS (2010) A review of heavy metal contaminations in urban soils, urban road dusts and agricultural soils from China. Microchem J 94:99–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Xiao Q, Zong Y, Lu S (2015) Assessment of heavy metal pollution and human health risk in urban soils of steel industrial city (Anshan), Liaoning, Northeast China. Ecotox Environ Safe 120:377–385CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Xue J, Jiang W, Gong S, Fan Y, Li X (2013) An evaluation of heavy metals contamination in soils from Ganzhou navel orange orchards by geoaccumulation indexes and statistical analysis. Chem Ecol 29:586–594CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Zhao L, Xu Y, Hou H, Shangguan Y, Li F (2014) Source identification and health risk assessment of metals in urban soils around the Tanggu chemical industrial district, Tianjin, China. Sci Total Environ 468–469:654–662CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Zhou X, Cao Z, Ma Y, Wang L, Wu R, Wang W (2016) Concentrations, correlations and chemical species of PM2.5/PM10 based on published data in China: potential implications for the revised particulate standard. Chemosphere 144:518–526CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tobacco Research Institute of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences/Key Laboratory of Tobacco Biology and Processing, Ministry of AgricultureQingdaoChina
  2. 2.Jiangxi Institute of Tobacco ScienceNanchangChina

Personalised recommendations