Dietary consumption of metal(loid)s-contaminated rice grown in croplands around industrial sectors: a human health risk perspective


The study aimed at analyzing the level of metal(loid)s in rice grown in croplands around industrial sectors of northern India with an emphasis on human health risk due to their consumption. Ninety samples of rice grains were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma emission spectroscope, and methodology of the US Environmental Protection Agency was used for assessing human health risk. Metal(loid)s concentrations (mg/kg) in rice grains decreased in order of iron (35.081) > zinc (24.245) > manganese (12.191) > lead (0.431) > molybdenum (0.451) > nickel (0.139) > chromium (0.058) > arsenic (0.030) > cobalt (0.019) > cadmium (0.012). The concentrations of nickel, lead and zinc in rice exceeded Indian permissible limits for food at some locations. Significant spatial variations among metal(loid)s can be attributed to varied anthropogenic activities. Factor analyses elucidated three factors which accounted for ~ 75% of the total variability. Consequently, three sources of rice contamination, namely air and atmospheric dust (32%), irrigational water (29.59%) and soil (13.36%), were identified. In ~ 12% of the samples, daily consumption of lead, manganese and nickel exceeded the tolerable limits specified by the World Health Organization. Molybdenum, lead, cobalt and arsenic were identified as key contributors to health risks, while nickel, cadmium and chromium contributed the least. Cumulative hazard index across the sites ranged from 1.502 to 18.342. Its average value was > 1, which indicated a significant health risk imposed by metal(loid)s to dietary consumers of rice.

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Authors are thankful to the director, CSIR-IHBT for support and members of High Altitude Biology Division for suggestions. Part of the work was supported by the MoEF&CC via. National Mission on Himalayan Studies. R. K. is also thankful to the director of research and faculty members of the Department of Environmental Science, Dr. YSP UHF Nauni, Solan (H.P) for facilities. The authors would also like to thank the editor(s) and reviewer(s) for their valuable comments and guidance that helped in improving the earlier version of this manuscript.

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Kashyap, R., Ahmad, M., Uniyal, S.K. et al. Dietary consumption of metal(loid)s-contaminated rice grown in croplands around industrial sectors: a human health risk perspective. Int. J. Environ. Sci. Technol. 16, 8505–8516 (2019).

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  • Factor analyses
  • Health risk assessment
  • Himalaya
  • Rice grains