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Bian B.,Jiangsu Academy of Environmental Sciences | Bian B.,Jiangsu Provincial Academy of Environment Science Co | Bian B.,Jiangsu Province Key Laboratory of Environmental Engineering | Zhou L.J.,Jiangsu Academy of Environmental Sciences | And 6 more authors.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research | Year: 2015

Metal contamination in farmlands irrigated with biogas slurry is of great concern because of its potential health risks to local inhabitants. Health risks that depend heavily on multi-pathway exposure to heavy metals (e.g., Pb, Cd, Cr, Zn, Cu, and As) in water, soil, air, and local food were studied through field sampling in Taihu Basin, China. Results show that Zn, Pb, and Cd in soils irrigated with biogas slurry exceed the soil quality standard values, and grown vegetables and grains contaminated with Pb and Cd exceed the permissible limits. Food ingestion plays an important role in the total average daily dose of metals, especially for Cu and Zn, which account for 94 and 91 %, respectively. Non-carcinogenic risks posed to adults mainly result from Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd, and As through food ingestion and from Cr through soil ingestion. The highest non-carcinogenic risk was determined from food ingestion, followed by soil ingestion, air inhalation, air ingestion, and dermal contact with air. Carcinogenic risks to adults are 6.68 to 7.00 times higher than the safe level and can be attributed to Cr, As, and Cd pollution. The estimated risks mainly result from As and Cd through food ingestion and from Cr through soil ingestion. Both cancer and non-cancer risks through dermal contact can be ignored. Therefore, attention should be paid to health risks imposed by adults’ multi-pathway exposure to heavy metals in vegetables, grains, and related soils irrigated with biogas slurry in Taihu Basin. Effective measures should be implemented to control heavy metal pollution and protect potentially exposed adults. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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