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Gu C.,CAS Wuhan Botanical Garden | Gu C.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Liu Y.,CAS Wuhan Botanical Garden | Liu D.,Hubei Academy of Agricultural science | And 7 more authors.
Ecological Engineering | Year: 2016

Elevated levels of heavy metals in sediments of irrigation channels can pose risks for crops and livestock, as well as for human health. In this study sediment samples were collected from the irrigation channel in a typical rural area of south China, and digested, in order to analyze their contents for the presence of heavy metals Cu, Zn, Pb, Cr, Cd, and Ni, as well as the non-metal As, to assess total concentrations and pollution levels. The pollution load index and potential ecological risk index of these elements were utilized to assess contamination levels and ecotoxicity. Our results showed that the concentrations of the 7 elements were in the order of Zn > Ni > Cr > Cu > As > Pb > Cd. With the exception of Cr and Pb, concentrations of elements were higher than their background in soil, especially for Cd (1.79 mg kg-1), As (99.61 mg kg-1) and Ni (142.62 mg kg-1), which were 18.49, 8.89 and 5.30 times their background concentrations, respectively. The whole sampled zone was characterized by medium pollution and had a very high potential ecological risk. The area of arable land presented a medium pollution risk, while areas near to the path or road showed high risk of pollution. The predominant contributors to elevated ecological risk for the whole zone were Cd and As. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.

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