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A study on the contamination assessment, health risk and mobility of two heavy metals in the soil-plants-ruminants system of a typical agricultural region in the semi arid environment

Abstract

This study’s aim was to investigate iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn) concentration in the soil, forage crops, and sheep blood with respect to the seasonal availability of these metals. Soil, forage, and sheep blood samples were sampled from five different locations in Chakwal (Pidh, Tobar, Ratoccha, Choa Saiden Shah-Kalar Kahar road, and Choa Saiden Shan-Chakwal Road) during two seasons, i.e., winter and summer. All the samples were processed through wet acid digestion for evaluation of metal contents. Because of proximity of site-1 and site-2 to coal mines, higher Fe concentration was observed than Zn. Overall, varied Fe concentrations obtained in soil were 12.95–24.31 mg/kg, 1.29–9.61 mg/kg in forage and 1.17–24 mg/l in blood, whereas Zn values were 1.04–31.9 mg/kg, 1.96–7.02 mg/kg, and 0.16–6.52 mg/l for soil, forages, and blood respectively. The pollution load index value for both Fe (0.01–0.14 mg/kg) and Zn (0.02–0.72 mg/kg) was lesser than 1. Bio-concentration (0.09–2.64mg/kg) and enrichment factor (0.08–7.51 mg/kg) were showing efficient transfer of metals through the food chain. Daily intake and health risk index values of iron were ranged from 0.01 to 1.1 mg/kg/day and 0.02 to 1.05 mg/kg/day. There was a probable chance of upsurge in metal values in coming years due to continued mining activities. Anthropogenic input, mainly mining activities in the study area, have increased the Fe and Zn content in the environment which can ultimately find their way up the food chain, thereby risking the health of grazing livestock.

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Acknowledgements

The authors express their appreciation to the Researchers Supporting Project number (RSP-2021/193), King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Funding

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41807515, and 51974313) and the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (BK20180641).

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Authors

Contributions

XG, ZIK, FC supervised the study. MA and KA performed experiment and wrote the first draft. AE, MAA, and MN did statistical analysis. SA, JA, YD, and MSE revised the manuscript, and all the authors participated in the discussion.

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Correspondence to Zafar Iqbal Khan.

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All the study protocols were approved by the Institutional Animal Ethics Committee, University of Sargodha (Approval No. 25-A18 IEC UOS). All the experiments performed complied with the rules of the National Research Council, and all methods were performed in accordance with relevant guidelines and regulations.

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All authors voluntarily participate in this research study.

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Ge, X., Khan, Z.I., Chen, F. et al. A study on the contamination assessment, health risk and mobility of two heavy metals in the soil-plants-ruminants system of a typical agricultural region in the semi arid environment. Environ Sci Pollut Res 29, 14584–14594 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-16756-4

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Keywords

  • Blood
  • Coal mines
  • Forage
  • Iron
  • Soil
  • Zinc