Environmental Geochemistry and Health

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 349–358 | Cite as

Environmental Se–Mo–B Deficiency and its Possible Effects in Jiantou Keshan Disease Area in Shaanxi Province, China

  • Weixuan Fang
  • Pengwu Wu
  • Ruizhong Hu


Keshan disease (KD) occurs in a wide geographic belt stretching from the Heilongjiang Province in northeastern China to Yunnan Province in southwestern China, including Huangling County, Shaanxi Province. In order to research relationships between eco-environmental geochemistry and KD pertaining to Se, Mo, B, Zn, Mn, and Cu, this investigation was conducted in the Jiantou KD area in Huangling County, one of the areas in China where the incidence of KD is highest. Environmental samples (rock, soil, plant and children’s hair) were collected from the area. Se in plants is low, ranging from 0.03 to 0.06 µg Se g−1 in corn, potato and soybean. Se contents in children’s hair are normal or reach the limitation of dangerous level. This study reports 0.18 µg Se g−1, B <40 µg g−1, and Mo <1.0 µg g−1 in aeolian soil, 0.14–0.38 µg Mo g−1 and 3–8 µg B g−1 in corn and potato (daily staple food for local human beings in the area). The Jiantou KD area is one where the elements Se, Mo and B are deficient. It is proposed that the deficiency of elements Se, Mo and B may be involved in the pathogenicity of KD with respect to the eco-environmental system because Se, Mo and B are essential micronutrients for plants and human beings. It seems that there is no significant relationship between the Zn–Mn–K–Pb–Ba associations and KD.

China eco-environmental geochemistry Keshan disease Se–Mo–B deficiency Shaanxi 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Weixuan Fang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Pengwu Wu
    • 1
    • 3
  • Ruizhong Hu
    • 2
  1. 1.Open Laboratory of Ore Deposit Geochemistry (LODG), Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of SciencesGuiyangP.R. China
  2. 2.The Mineral and Geological Exploration Center of Nonferrous MetalsBeijingP.R. China
  3. 3.CNNCThe Institute of Geophysical and Geochemical ExplorationXi’anP.R. China

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