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Abstract

We investigated two Romanian industrial regions- Copşa Mică and Zlatna, to assess the current situation of soil pollution and bioaccumulation of Pb, Cd, Cu and Zn in different vegetable species and possible risks to consumers. Both total and mobile forms of the metals were determined in soil samples, and metal content in the edible parts of root vegetable samples was also assessed. The concentrations of Pb and Zn in soil were higher in Copşa Mică than in Zlatna (566mg/kg vs 271mg/kg for Pb and 1143mg/kg vs 368mg/kg for Zn)·The metal mobility in soil from Copsa Mica decreases in the order Zn>Cu>Cd>Pb (1.88mg/kg, 0.40mg/kg, 0.22mg/kg, 0.16mg/kg, respectively), while in Zlatna, the order was Cu>Zn>Pb>Cd (0.88mg/kg, 0.29mg/kg, 0.04mg/kg, 0.01mg/kg, respectively), apparently depending on metal and soil conditions. In Copsa Mica, the amount of Pb and Cd in vegetable samples exceeded the maximum permissible limits in carrots (median concentration 0.32mg/kg for Pb and Cd) and in yellow onions (median concentration 0.24mg/kg for Cd). In Zlatna region, the content of Cd exceeded the maximum limits in yellow onions (median concentration 0.11mg/kg). The amount of Pb was higher than the maximum acceptable level in carrots from the Zlatna region (median concentration 0.12mg/kg). Cu and Zn levels were within the normal range in all vegetable samples. In the Zlatna region, the transfer factors for Pb and Cd were higher in carrots (median values of 9.9 for Pb and 21.0 for Cd) compared to carrots harvested in Copsa Mica (median values of 4.0 for Pb and 2.0 for Cd). Daily intake rates of metals through local vegetable consumption exceeded the limit values established by the European Food Safety Authority for Pb (1.2 to 2.4 times) and Cd (5.5 to 9.1 times) in both regions, with potential adverse health effects for the local population. The results highlight the need for total soil remediation action before fruit and vegetables produced in these polluted areas can be safely consumed.

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... Studies have shown that there are still high levels of metals in the soil, despite the fact that the company ceased its activity. Moreover, the locally produced vegetables, such as onions, potatoes, carrots, accumulate high concentrations of metals (especially Pb and Cd), exceeding the maximum allowable limits established by the European Commission's (EC) Regulation No. 1881/2006(Nedelescu et al. 2017Pavel et al. 2013). ...
... Medias is located at approximatively 15 km from Copsa Mica. Copsa Mica was one of the most contaminated industrial towns in Romania, especially in the communist period (Nedelescu et al. 2017;Miclaus et al. 2019). The predominant metals processed in the non-ferrous facility were: Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn, with concentrations decreasing in the following order: Zn > Cu > Cd > Pb, according to Nedelescu et al. (2017). ...
... Copsa Mica was one of the most contaminated industrial towns in Romania, especially in the communist period (Nedelescu et al. 2017;Miclaus et al. 2019). The predominant metals processed in the non-ferrous facility were: Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn, with concentrations decreasing in the following order: Zn > Cu > Cd > Pb, according to Nedelescu et al. (2017). Due to the atmospheric conditions, the air emissions directly reach Medias town. ...
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Soil contamination represents a serious and significant issue, especially when it comes to soil used in agricultural practices. This research was carried out in order to investigate the accumulation level of potentially toxic trace elements (Cr, Cd, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn) in soil and vegetables (Solanum lycopersicum and Daucus carota). The transfer of the trace elements from soil to vegetables and the potential risk assessment were studied as well. Results indicated relatively high levels of heavy metals. Cd, Cu and Pb exceeded the alert limits established by the Romanian legislation. Zn was high as well. Positive correlations between the Cr, Cu and Pb indicated similar source of pollution, possibly related to the activities occurred in the non-metallic facility, nearby the study area. The heavy metals determined in the Solanum lycopersicum fruits and Daucus carota roots were below the maximum allowable concentrations, according to the WHO/FAO guideline. Slightly higher amounts of Cr and Cu were measured in tomatoes, compared to the carrots. Nevertheless, carrots were richer in Ni and Mn. The applied pollution indices indicated a contamination with heavy metals in 90% of the soil samples, with 9% probability of toxicity, the remaining 10% being classified into the precaution domain category. The plant bioconcentration of heavy metals into the Solanum lycopersicum fruits and Daucus carota roots is characterized using transfer factors. Generally, the results indicate that Daucus carota was the most susceptible to uptake Cu and Mn, while Solanum lycopersicum would rather uptake Cd and Zn. The estimated non-carcinogenic risk, based on the human health risk indices, indicates that the studied vegetables are safe for consumption with no impact on the human health. The results are lower than the critical value. Similarly, the carcinogenic risk indices results showed acceptable risks of cancer developing. It is important to assess and monitor the heavy metals levels in soil and in the vegetables intended to be consumed, in order to prevent contamination and potential negative effects on the environment and implicitly on the human health. The obtained data can be used in remediation techniques, as well as in implementing control measures of heavy metal contamination in soil and vegetables.
... The smelter company worked from 1747 until 2004, till it was closed. In the period of its maximum operation, the company released considerable amounts of heavy metals (Pb, Zn, Cu, Cd and Sb) into the environment (Nedelescu et al., 2017). ...
... Recent studies carried out in these regions have revealed high amounts of heavy metals in soils (Pb, Cd, Zn) and vegetables (Pb, Cd) harvested from these polluted areas (Muntean et al., 2010;Nedelescu et al., 2017). Daily intake rates of lead and cadmium, ingested by population through consumption of vegetables grown on these contaminated soils, exceed the limits established by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA, 2012a; EFSA, 2012b): from 1.2 to 2.4 times for Pb and from 5.5 to 9.1 times for Cd in study regions Copşa Micȃ and Zlatna (Nedelescu et al., 2017). ...
... Recent studies carried out in these regions have revealed high amounts of heavy metals in soils (Pb, Cd, Zn) and vegetables (Pb, Cd) harvested from these polluted areas (Muntean et al., 2010;Nedelescu et al., 2017). Daily intake rates of lead and cadmium, ingested by population through consumption of vegetables grown on these contaminated soils, exceed the limits established by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA, 2012a; EFSA, 2012b): from 1.2 to 2.4 times for Pb and from 5.5 to 9.1 times for Cd in study regions Copşa Micȃ and Zlatna (Nedelescu et al., 2017). Also, heavy metal exposure indicators in population living in these areas show worrying figures. ...
Article
Industrial areas affected by high and long-term heavy metal pollution have a great impact on health of the resident population. Children represent a group at high-risk with an increased susceptibility to chronic heavy metal intoxication. Our work included the assessment of attention particularities through a case-control study in pre-school and school-aged children (4–6 years and 8–11 years) from two study areas, Copşa Mică and Zlatna, compared to a non-polluted locality with no history of heavy metal pollution. Copşa Mică and Zlatna are two of the most polluted heavy metals regions in Romania due to non-ferrous metallurgy for a long period of time. Recruitment of participants was made by a random selection of an entire class for each age within the schools and kindergartens from the study areas (Copşa Mică and Zlatna) and from the non-polluted region. Interpretation of data was performed using statistical analysis (ANOVA and Student's t-test). Preschool children (4–6 years) were tested using Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI) tests, Animal House and labyrinth samples. The results of the attention tests applied to pre-school children were lower in the study areas compared to the control group, but no statistical differences were found. The results of the attention tests applied to children aged between 8 and 11 years (Toulouse-Pieron test and Traffic light test) indicate lower average scores within the study groups from polluted areas, compared to the control group. Differences with statistically significance were registered for the 8 years age group (p = 0.037). In these areas efficient strategies and precise intervention measures are needed in order to limit or remove the heavy metal exposure and protect the human health, especially the groups exposed to a high level of risk.
... The mean pH value of soil irrigated with UTW was 7.21 ± 1.5, while the TRW soil average pH value was 7.3 ± 0.7. Heavy metal bioaccumulation and transfer from soil to plants are largely dependent on soil pH (Nedelescu et al., 2017). Different reports have shown that HM transfer from soil to plants is reduced with alkaline pH as a result of OH precipitation or insoluble organic complex formation Li et al., 2012). ...
... In order to figure out the HMs concentration identified in the current study and other studies, comparison was made by considering limited criteria's. Although the mechanisms involved in the extraction and (Khalid et al., 2018;Natasha et al., 2020;Nedelescu et al., 2017), for the sake of simplicity, HMs contamination from vegetables, water source used for irrigation, presence of detail HRI analysis, data reported containing most of the HMs detected and study carried out in different countries were used to compile the comparative study table. Table 4 presents the comparative HM concentration results identified in the current study with 23 previous studies in 14 different countries. ...
... The Pearson correlation coefficient results revealed a strongly significantly negative relationship between pH and Pb bioaccumulation (Table S3). Similar to our study, Nedelescu et al. (2017) also noted that Pb concentrations in soil samples were negatively and significantly correlated with pH values. The more alkaline the soil is, the lower the Pb mobilization and thus, the less uptake by plants. ...
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Article
Available freshwater scarcity significantly affects sustainable food production for the rapidly growing population. This problem has forced people in most parts of the world to use wastewater as a viable solution. However, wastewater reuse has some deleterious effects on human and environmental health. This study was designed to investigate the health risks (HRs) of heavy metals (HMs) from vegetables irrigated with untreated and treated wastewater. The composite wastewater was collected at various sites in Arba Minch town and subjected to aerobic-anoxic treatment. Treated and untreated wastewater (UTW) was used to irrigate vegetables (lettuce, cabbage and tomato), and HM results were compared with the control (tap water) and standards. Water, soil and vegetables were investigated for various physical and chemical properties. Human health effects due to vegetable consumption were analyzed using HR-index (HRI), target hazard quotient (THQ) and hazard index (HI). The results revealed that most of the water quality indexes were significantly enhanced after aerobic-anoxic treatment, suggesting that wastewater collected from different sites was suitable for biodegradation. Soil physi-cochemical analyses also showed that pH, cation exchange capacity, organic carbon and organic matter were higher for UTW irrigated soil. Heavy metal concentrations were relatively greater in soils than water used for irrigation purposes and vegetables. The HM concentration in vegetables was higher for UTW than for treated and tap water irrigated vegetables. In vegetables, the order of HM content was Fe > Mn > Zn > Pb > Cu > Cd. Tomato followed by cabbage and lettuce accumulated significant amount of HMs (Fe > Mn > Zn > Pb > Cu > Cd) in their different organs (fruit/leaf>root>stem). The individual and combined health indexes (HRI, THQ and HI) showed Science of the Total Environment xxx (xxxx) xxx ⁎ Correspondence to: A. Guadie,
... The mean pH value of soil irrigated with UTW was 7.21 ± 1.5, while the TRW soil average pH value was 7.3 ± 0.7. Heavy metal bioaccumulation and transfer from soil to plants are largely dependent on soil pH (Nedelescu et al., 2017). Different reports have shown that HM transfer from soil to plants is reduced with alkaline pH as a result of OH precipitation or insoluble organic complex formation Li et al., 2012). ...
... In order to figure out the HMs concentration identified in the current study and other studies, comparison was made by considering limited criteria's. Although the mechanisms involved in the extraction and (Khalid et al., 2018;Natasha et al., 2020;Nedelescu et al., 2017), for the sake of simplicity, HMs contamination from vegetables, water source used for irrigation, presence of detail HRI analysis, data reported containing most of the HMs detected and study carried out in different countries were used to compile the comparative study table. Table 4 presents the comparative HM concentration results identified in the current study with 23 previous studies in 14 different countries. ...
... The Pearson correlation coefficient results revealed a strongly significantly negative relationship between pH and Pb bioaccumulation (Table S3). Similar to our study, Nedelescu et al. (2017) also noted that Pb concentrations in soil samples were negatively and significantly correlated with pH values. The more alkaline the soil is, the lower the Pb mobilization and thus, the less uptake by plants. ...
Full-text available
Article
Available freshwater scarcity significantly affects sustainable food production for the rapidly growing population. This problem has forced people in most parts of the world to use wastewater as a viable solution. However, wastewater reuse has some deleterious effects on human and environmental health. This study was designed to investigate the health risks (HRs) of heavy metals (HMs) from vegetables irrigated with untreated and treated wastewater. The composite wastewater was collected at various sites in Arba Minch town and subjected to aerobic-anoxic treatment. Treated and untreated wastewater (UTW) was used to irrigate vegetables (lettuce, cabbage and tomato), and HM results were compared with the control (tap water) and standards. Water, soil and vegetables were investigated for various physical and chemical properties. Human health effects due to vegetable consumption were analyzed using HR- index (HRI), target hazard quotient (THQ) and hazard index (HI). The results revealed that most of the water quality indexes were significantly enhanced after aerobic-anoxic treatment, suggesting that wastewater collected from different sites was suitable for biodegradation. Soil physicochemical analyses also showed that pH, cation exchange capacity, organic carbon and organic matter were higher for UTW irrigated soil. Heavy metal concentrations were relatively greater in soils than water used for irrigation purposes and vegetables. The HM concentration in vegetables was higher for UTW than for treated and tap water irrigated vegetables. In vegetables, the order of HM content was Fe>Mn>Zn>Pb>Cu>Cd. Tomato followed by cabbage and lettuce accumulated significant amount of HMs (Fe>Mn>Zn>Pb>Cu>Cd) in their different organs (fruit/leaf>root>stem). The individual and combined health indexes (HRI, THQ and HI) showed that Pb and Cd have values greater than unity for wastewater irrigated vegetables, which could result in non-carcinogenic disease for short/lifetime exposure in adults and children. Overall, consumption of vegetables can be safer when grown with treated effluent than with UTW.
... In aluviosols in an alkaline reaction (pH 7.10-7.26) in the top soil, severe heavy metal pollution was produced. It has been proven that at Copșa Mică, the pH and humus content of the surface horizon was influential for their pollution with heavy metals (Damian et al. 2008;Nedelescu et al. 2017). In soil profiles under the humus-rich horizon, there is a sharp decline in the heavy metal content up to normal values. ...
... The negative effects of heavy metal-contaminated soils on the vegetation from Copşa Mică area have been studied by Lăcătuşu et al. (1998), Lăcătușu and Lăcătușu (2008, and Vrînceanu et al. (2009). Mihăiescu et al. (2011 discovered high amounts of Cd in the fruits of different forest species, and that the edible parts of the root vegetables harvested from Copşa Mică contain large quantities of metals, especially Pb and Cd, (Nedelescu et al. 2017). In most of these samples, the established toxicity limits were exceeded. ...
... Vrinceanu et al. (2009) indicated the very good correlation between the content of heavy metals in plants and the polluted soil from Copșa Mică. Nedelescu et al. (2017) investigated the Pb, Zn, Cd, and Cu content from carrot (Daucus carota L.), potato (Solanum tuberosum L.), and yellow onion (Allium cepa L.) samples. ...
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Article
The Copşa Mică area is one of the most polluted anthropic sites in Romania. Because higher heavy metal concentrations occur in finer fractions, this research focuses on the size fraction < 500 μm. Two kilograms soil sample was sieved on the 500-μm sieve and was air classified into size fractions down to the low micrometer range. The size fraction’s composition was investigated by ICP-OES IC, XRD, and FTIR spectrometry. Approximately 80 and 62% of the material was smaller than 2 mm and < 500 μm, respectively. The predominant size fraction had a mass median diameter (MMD) of approximately 75 μm. The smallest size fraction with a MMD of 2.2 μm had a share of 3.6% and contained the highest amount of heavy metals. The concentrations of Pb, Zn, Cd, Cu, Sb, and As exceeded the legally regulated values for soils according to Romanian legislation. The respective concentrations were 26,900, 27,600, 415, 2130, 466, and 915 mg·kg⁻¹. In the coarser size fractions 5, 4, and 3, the predominant minerals were quartz and alkaline feldspar, while in the finer size fractions 1 and 2, the clay minerals and total carbon (TC) were predominant. Illites and montmorillonites in the fine fraction composition retain heavy metals due to the high levels of cation exchange capacity. Black carbon accumulated in soil acts as a heavy metal adsorbent due to its porosity and high specific surface area. The good correlation between heavy metals and TC in the top soil can be an indicator of the level of heavy metal pollution.
... Cr +6 is also categorized in Group 1 (carcinogenic agent) of the hazardous substances and its role in lung and nose cancer as well as the loss of nasal cavity sinuses has been demonstrated so far [10,14]. In addition, intake of excess amounts of Zn, can lead to different health-related problems including digestive disorders, headache, dysfunction or malfunction of the body's immune system, changes in the lipoprotein and cholesterol level and specially may disrupt the interactions between iron and zinc in the body [15]. In the case of Mn, scientific reports have revealed that the exposure with high concentration of this metal may be associated with decreased intelligence quotient (IQ) as well as increased behavioral problems in children [16][17][18]. ...
... As mentioned previously, the full texts of the studies were used to evaluate their quality based on the abovementioned checklist, and then a score was ascribed to each document. The publications were sorted as high quality (22)(23)(24)(25)(26)(27)(28)(29)(30)(31)(32)(33)(34)(35), middle quality (14)(15)(16)(17)(18)(19)(20)(21) and low quality (13 and below). The documents categorized in the "low/weak quality" group were further excluded from the study. ...
... According to the literature, in recent times, many studies have been based on the determination of the concentration of heavy metals in tomatoes grown in soils considered polluted, such as mining areas, tomato crops irrigated with wastewater or those grown in urban and suburb areas of big cities [15][16][17][18][19]. Currently, there is a lack of reports on heavy metal uptake by vegetables in agricultural soils in rural areas. Although a number of researches have reported the impact on human health of metal contamination in urban soils and industries of Romania [20][21][22], as well as the consumption of contaminated vegetables [23][24][25], to the best of our knowledge, there are few related studies on the concentration of heavy metals in soil and tomato crops. In the south-eastern region of Romania, Dobrogea, there is little information on the status of agricultural soils and local sources of heavy metal contamination, as well as their bioaccumulation in edible tissues of tomato crops. ...
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Article
In this study, the content of lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr) and manganese (Mn) was evaluated in soils and tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum) collected from rural areas of Dobrogea province, South-East of Romania. The risk to human health due to the heavy metal exposure via tomato consumption was also assessed.The results suggest that based on the contamination factor, the soils are moderately contaminated with Cd and Mn (Cf values of 1.266. and 1.40) and poorly contaminated with Pb and Cr. The bioconcentration factor (BAF) was below 1 and indicated that the studied species of Lycopersicon esculentum did not accumulate the monitored elements. Person's correlation analysis showed that there were significant relations between soil pH and BCF values of Cd, Pb, Cr and Mn in analysed tomatoes. The estimated daily intake of each metal was below the oral reference dose. The hazard quotient (HQ) and hazard index (HI) were below the acceptable level (< 1), and the cancer risk (CR) for Pb, Cd and Cr was found within acceptable levels (1.0 × 10-6-1.0 × 10-4). Based on health guidance values, it may be concluded that the analysed tomatoes do not present health risks to consumers in terms of content and accumulation of heavy metals. It is important to monitor the other toxic metals as well, in order to evaluate the heavy metal accumulation variation and the toxicity value of each metal in agricultural soils from both rural and industrial areas.
... Therefore, mussels harvested from contaminated water sources have an increased risk of infection and chemical poisoning. In addition, consumption of mussels contaminated with heavy metals, such as mercury, cadmium, or lead, can increase the risk of neurological damage and congenital disabilities [26][27][28][29]. Aquatic organisms exposed to marine contaminants such as heavy metals accumulate these elements. ...
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Article
Mussels have a particular nutritional value, representing a highly valued food source and thus sought after worldwide. Their meat is a real culinary delicacy, rich in proteins, lipids, carbohydrates , trace elements, enzymes, and vitamins. The seasonal variation of mussels' biochemical composition has been studied to determine the best harvesting period to capitalize on various biologically active fractions. In this work biochemical determinations have been performed on fresh flesh samples of Mytilus galloprovincialis specimens from the Black Sea coast to study seasonal variations in mussels' biochemical compounds. An analysis of significant lipid classes and the fatty acid composition of lipid extracts obtained from mussel flesh has also been performed. Since mussels retain pollutants from the marine environment, in parallel, the concentration of heavy metals in the meat of mussels collected for the analysis of the chemical composition was investigated. The impact and risk of heavy metal poisoning due to food consumption of mussels contaminated due to pollution of the marine harvesting area was evaluated by the bio-concentration factor of metals and estimated daily intakes of heavy metals through mussel consumption. Citation: Mititelu, M.; Neacșu, S.M.; Oprea, E.; Dumitrescu, D.-E.; Nedelescu, M.; Drăgănescu, D.; Nicolescu, T.O.; Roșca, A.C.; Ghica, M. Black Sea Mussels Qualitative and Quantitative Chemical Analysis: Nutritional Benefits and Possible Risks through Consumption. Nutrients 2022, 14, 964.
... Currently, with the intense anthropogenic impact on nature, it is imperative to control the metal content in food and in the environment because there are known cases of the toxification of people with heavy metal compounds. Moreover, once assimilated, some heavy metals and pesticides are difficult to remove from the human body and can cause serious health effects, such as neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases and cancers at different locations [32][33][34][35][36][37][38][39]. ...
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Article
Honey is a natural product recognized and appreciated for its nutritional value and therapeutic potential. However, the quality of bee honey is essential because various contaminants can seriously affect consumers’ health. In the experimental part of the work, we analyzed different types of honey (linden, black locust, rapeseed and multifloral honey) and propolis, which were collected from Romanian accredited beekeepers who placed beehives in two areas characterized by different industrial activity: area 1 (A1) is an area with intense industrial activity, with other industries existing nearby, including a refinery, while area 2 (A2) is entirely devoid of industrial activity, but with moderate agricultural activity. A total of 144 samples were collected, twelve samples for each variety of honey, propolis and soil, corresponding to each area analyzed. In addition, seven heavy metals and three pesticides were tested for in the samples collected. Finally, the correlation between the degree of contamination with soil pollutants and the contamination of the bee products harvested from the analyzed areas was studied. Cadmium, lead, copper, zinc and the sum of DDT metabolites exceeded the maximum allowable levels in honey samples, with differences between different types of honey Citation: Mititelu, M.; Udeanu, D.I.; Nedelescu, M.; Neacsu, S.M.; Nicoara, A.C.; Oprea, E.; Ghica, M. Quality Control of Different Types of Honey and Propolis Collected from Romanian Accredited Beekeepers and Consumer’s Risk Assessment. Crystals 2022, 12, 87. https:// doi.org/10.3390/cryst12010087
... Lead (Pb) is a toxic and non-biodegradable metal pollutant, and its enrichment can inhibit plant photosynthesis and enzyme's activity, which in turn affects plant growth Nedelescu et al., 2017). Moreover, Pb can threat human health through food chain and daily exposure (Hou et al., 2018). ...
Article
Alpine ecosystem has a potential to intercept the transport of atmospheric metals, while the regulation mechanisms with variations in altitude and slope direction remain unclear. In this study, the soil and moss samples on the northern and southern slopes of Shennongjia Mountain were collected with altitude to quantitatively identify the sources of lead (Pb) and to decipher the regulation mechanisms of altitude and slope on the Pb distribution. The results showed that the concentrations of Pb decreased evidently with soil depth, and in the O (organic soils) and A (surface mineral soils) horizons they increased with altitude. The Pb isotopes and moss biomonitoring revealed that Pb was mainly from atmospheric deposition, and the sources included fossil fuel combustion, ore mining and smelting. Based on a binary mixing model of Pb isotopes, the percentage of atmospheric Pb in the O and A horizons and mosses averaged 58.8%, 43.7% and 71.0%, respectively. Atmospheric wet deposition strikingly controlled the distribution of soil Pb along the altitude. Canopy filtering and leaching also impacted the accumulation of Pb in the forest floor. The significant difference in the atmospheric Pb accumulation in the soils between the two slopes was not observed as expected, since atmospheric dry deposition from northwestern China contributed to the Pb accumulation on the northern slope according to the Pb isotopic ratios and air mass trajectories. The results of this study indicate that altitude determines the distribution pattern of atmospheric Pb, while slope direction screens the source region of Pb in alpine ecosystems.
... It is acknowledged that substances such as Cadmium, Lead or Mercury have no biological functions and are therefore toxic for human health. (Senila et al., 2008, Constantinescu, 2008, Levei et al., 2009, Nedelescu et al., 2017. ...
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The soil pollution as a result of the industrialization in the communist and current period leads to the deterioration of quality of the soil from the old industrial platforms, seldom fallen into disrepair and in precarious stage of decontamination. The purpose of the current study is to analyse degree of pollution of the soils with heavy metal in the area of Nord Dej industrial platform, in the location of the former Cellulose and Paper Enterprise and Artificial Fibers Enterprise. In order to reach this goal, we conducted field analysis and series if soil profiles, using Hydra Joy 3 equipment, which allowed us to extract soil caps from a significant depth. We used ISO 10530:1992 in order to make an analysis of the chemical properties of the soil, based on the soil profiles extracted, and (ICP-MS) EPA 6020B: 2014 to determine the existence of Cadmium, Lead, Chromium, Copper and Zinc. The highest concentration was found for Nickel, but there are other elements such as Cadmium or Zinc with high values in the studied area.
... Consumption of vegetables contaminated with heavy metals (HMs) can develop potential diseases such as heart, kidney, brain, blood, liver, and bone diseases [9]. Arsenic (As), Cadmium (Cd), cobalt (Co), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), lead (Pb), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni), and zinc (Zn) are the most commonly reported HMs in vegetables, soil, and wastewater [10][11][12][13][14]. Reports showed that consumption of food that contains an excess amount of Cd brings renal damage, hypertension, emphysema, carcinogenic changes (mainly of kidney and prostate), skeletal deformation, and low reproduction functions in human beings [11,[15][16][17][18]. Although the human body (bones and teeth) stores a large amounts of Pb, the excess amount of Pb ingested from food may damage nervous systems, inhibit heme formation, damage kidneys, cause anemia, impaired mental development of young children, cause carcinogenicity and genotoxicity [18]. ...
Article
The agricultural sector requires a large volume of water (~70 % of global water), which makes this sector difficult to produce enough food for the rapidly growing population demand with the existing scarce available freshwater source. As a viable alternative water source, urban wastewater reuse is a potential candidate. However, wastewater reuse and disposal before treatment pose a significant threat to human health and ecological systems. This study was aimed to treat urban wastewater using aerobic-anoxic system and then effluent evaluated to grow different vegetables. Wastewater samples collected (Arba Minch town) at nine sites during different seasons were used to characterized water quality (physicochemical and biological) parameters and feed aerobic-anoxic reactors. Health risk as a result of vegetable ingestion was investigated using HRI, THQ, and HI. Statistically significant (p < 0.05) seasonal variation results were observed for temperature, NH 4-N, NO 2-N, and sodium adsorption ratio. The performance of aerobic-anoxic treatment for COD, BOD 5 , TSS, NH 4-N, TN, and TP was 91− 94, 92− 95, >96, 92, 88, and 58 %, respectively. The order of heavy metals concentration in raw wastewater was Fe > Pb > Zn > Mn > Cu > Cd, which is lower than corresponding heavy metals in vegetables having the order Fe > Mn > Zn > Pb > Cu > Cd. The phytotoxicity effect was significantly higher for cabbage followed by lettuce and tomato. The HRI, THQ, and HI values for Cd and Pb >1.0 (exceeded WHO and FAO limits) for vegetables irrigated with wastewater, which could result in health risk in adults and children. Overall, results confirmed that wastewater after aerobic-anoxic treatment is a sustainable approach to maintain safe environmental and human health.
... Furthermore, environmental toxicants such as heavy metals, including cadmium, play an asserted role in the pathogenesis of the disease, according to recent studies (14,39). The wide use of Cd in industry (refining industries, metal mining, construction, Cd-containing batteries, and shipyard) and its environmental dissemination (7,(40)(41)(42) led to the ranking of this metal among the most toxic ones (the seventh most toxic heavy metal) (16). It is responsible for multiple noxious effects such as nephrotoxicity, cardiotoxicity, bone diseases, reproductive toxicity, inflammatory disorders and tumorigenesis. ...
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Recent scientific evidence suggests a link between epigenetic changes (DNA methylation) and tumorigenesis. Moreover, a potential carcinogenic mechanism of cadmium was associated with changes in DNA methylation. In this study we investigated the impact of CdCl2 and CuSO4 aqueous solutions on DNA methylation in HT-29 cells by quantifying DNA methyltransferase (DNMT1, DNMT3A and DNMT3B) mRNA expression. Furthermore, we also studied the cytotoxic and anti-migratory potential of these substances. The results showed a dose-dependent decrease of viable cell percentage following 24 h of exposure (at concentrations of 0.05; 0.2; 1; 10 and 100 µg/ml), and an inhibitory effect on HT-29 cell migration capacity. In addition, RT-qPCR results showed that cadmium acts as a hypomethylating agent by suppressing DNMT expression, whereas copper acts as a hypermethylating compound by increasing DNMT expression. These findings suggest a cytotoxic potential of both cadmium and copper on HT-29 cells and their capacity to induce epigenetic changes.
... The levels observed in soil samples from all the 3 regions do not exceed the legal limits for the heavy metals and DDT and DDE but exceed for DDD levels (Order 756 (1997)). The increase of heavy metals in industrialized areas from Romania, has been previously reported and was correlated with the blood levels of heavy metals in individual living in these regions (Velea et al., 2009;Nedelescu et al., 2017). Soil is the main source of heavy metals and DDT and its metabolites that can transfer and accumulate in plants and from plant to farm animals. ...
Article
Cattle milk's health benefits can be compromised by the presence of contaminants. The levels of cadmium, copper, lead and zinc, and residues of dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE), dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane (DDD), dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) were determined in soil, milk and cheese samples collected from cow farms from 3 Romanian areas with industrial and agriculture tradition. A new methodology was applied for the determination of the corrected estimated daily intake (cEDI) corresponding to the aggregate dietary exposure. For the risk assessment, we calculated the source hazard quotient (HQs) for each contaminant and the adversity specific hazard index (HIA). Cadmium, copper, lead and zinc, and the sum of DDT levels in soil samples were below maximum residue levels (MRLs). The MRLs of lead and DDD were exceeded in milk and cheese samples from all the 3 areas. The MRLs of copper and zinc were exceeded in cheese samples from area 2 and 3. HQs >10 for lead indicates increased risk, while HQ > 1 for copper and sum of DDT indicates moderate risk for both milk and cheese. By calculating the HIA, we identified a moderate and increase risk for nephrotoxicity, hepatotoxicity, hematotoxicity, cardiotoxicity and reproduction toxicity after consumption of the dairy products from the 3 areas.
... Toxic metals are further found as a contaminant in fertilizer, which in turn can enter the food cycle [4][5][6]. The effect of toxic metal contamination on crop production has been well documented [6][7][8][9][10][11]. Various studies have shown that the general population is exposed to these chemicals through different sources of exposure [12][13][14][15][16][17]. ...
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Abstract: Toxic metals are extensively found in the environment, households, and workplaces and contaminate food and drinking water. The crosstalk between environmental exposure to toxic metals and human diseases has been frequently described. The toxic mechanism of action was classically viewed as the ability to dysregulate the redox status, production of inflammatory mediators and alteration of mitochondrial function. Recently, growing evidence showed that heavy metals might exert their toxicity through microRNAs (miRNA)—short, single-stranded, noncoding molecules that function as positive/negative regulators of gene expression. Aberrant alteration of the endogenous miRNA has been directly implicated in various pathophysiological conditions and signaling pathways, consequently leading to different types of cancer and human diseases. Additionally, the gene-regulatory capacity of miRNAs is particularly valuable in the brain—a complex organ with neurons demonstrating a significant ability to adapt following environmental stimuli. Accordingly, dysregulated miRNAs identified in patients suffering from neurological diseases might serve as biomarkers for the earlier diagnosis and monitoring of disease progression. This review will greatly emphasize the effect of the toxic metals on human miRNA activities and how this contributes to progression of diseases such as cancer and neurodegenerative disorders (NDDs).
... Some reports also suggested that population explosion in the past few decades have also increased the toxic heavy metals in soil through large-scale agricultural activities (Niu et al. 2013;Huang et al. 2015b). The soil is a long-term natural sink for potential toxicants including nickel, lead, zinc, cadmium, copper, and chromium (Nedelescu et al. 2017). From the soil, the contaminants enrooted through food chain enter into biota causing health issues (Naghipour et al. 2016b;Asghari et al. 2018). ...
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The pollution of agricultural soil due to heavy metals is a serious environmental problem throughout the world due to their persistence and toxicity. The present study was carried out on agricultural soils of district Bathinda, Punjab where a total of 120 soil samples were collected from 40 different locations during pre-monsoon, monsoon, and post-monsoon season. The total mean concentration of heavy metals (arsenic (As), chromium (Cr), iron (Fe), cobalt (Co), nickel (Ni), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg), lead (Pb)) was estimated by ThermoScientific–iCAP Qc (Germany) inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The concentration of heavy metals was of the order of Fe > Zn > Cr > Ni > Cu > Co > As > Pb > Hg > Cd, Fe > Zn > Cr > Ni > Cu > Co > As > Pb > Hg > Cd, and Fe > Zn > Cr > Ni > Cu > Co > Pb > As > Hg > Cd in pre-monsoon, monsoon, and post-monsoon seasons, respectively. The metals such as Fe, Zn, Cr, and Ni indicated higher concentrations at most of the sites, whereas Hg and Cd showed lower concentrations throughout the region. The total mean concentrations (mg/kg) of the metals were found to be lower than their natural background concentration values. Based on enrichment factor (EF), the soils were moderately contaminated at most of the sites with a few cases where the soil was minimally enriched with heavy metals. Other pollution indices such pollution load index (PLI) and degree of contamination (Cd) also indicated low to moderate level of soil contamination. Besides, risk assessment of heavy metals was also determined using potential ecological risk factor (Ei) and ecological risk index (Ri) which indicated low Ei and Ri in the region for most of the metals. Spatial distribution using interpolation technique, Inverse Distance Weighted (IDW) in ArcGIS 10.6.1 software, showed a significant spatial and seasonal variability of heavy metals throughout the region. Pearson’s correlation coefficient (r) between heavy metal variables was found to be significant at p < 0.05 significance level (As-Cr (r = 0.769), As-Fe (r = 0.760), As-Co (r = 0.883), As-Ni (r = 0.886), As-Cu (r = 0.859), As-Hg (r = 0.678) in pre-monsoon samples; As-Fe (r = 0.613), As-Co (r = 0.669), As-Ni (r = 0.619), As-Cu (r = 0.639) in monsoon samples and As-Cr (r = 0.631), As-Fe (r = 0.715), As-Co (r = 0.710), As-Cu (r = 0.690) in post-monsoon samples) indicated a strong relationship between different variables. Principal component analysis (PCA) technique also proved to be significant in studying the behavioral pattern of variables, where PCA biplots showed different behavior as revealed from some strong associations. Finally, continuous monitoring of the sites is suggested to avoid further contamination and degradation of soil quality, despite low contamination levels in the region.
... The portion of Cd contributing to HI for children (6-13%) is lower than for adults (16-28%). The rest of the contaminants did not exhibit high risks but still can be readily mobile and available for the uptake by plants (Nedelescu et al., 2017). Thus, Pb was the most dominant contaminant among all heavy metals in the case of non-carcinogenic risk assessment, indicating that people are most likely to experience non-carcinogenic toxicological effects due mainly to Pb. Oral ingestion was found to be the highest contributor to the overall HI because its portion was the highest in all cities. ...
Article
Kazakhstan's growing economy has been posing a threat to the natural environment in the country. The study aimed to investigate the status of soil contamination by five heavy metals (Pb, Cd, Cu, Zn, and Cr) in Kazakhstan during 2010–2018 as well as its impact on the population. Data for the analysis were collected from the governmental monitoring agency, which has reported the concentrations of five heavy metals in the Kazakhstan soil each year. Preliminary screening suggested the four most contaminated cities (Balkhash, Ust-Kamenogorsk, Ridder, and Shymkent). Mean soil concentrations in these cities varied between 251 and 442 mg/kg for Pb, 5–9 mg/kg for Cd, 8–138 mg/kg for Cu, 87–178 mg/kg for Zn, and 2–5 mg/kg for Cr. Analysis of geo-accumulation index pointed out the possible anthropogenic origin of the contamination by Pb and Cd in these cities (mean Igeo was 3.81 for Pb and 3.45 for Cd). Further probabilistic risk assessment for these cities demonstrated that mean hazard indices for children fluctuated between 1 and 2 in two cities (Shymkent and Balkhash), whereas cancer risks for both age groups stayed in the range of 0.95 × 10⁻⁶ and 4.2 × 10⁻⁶, indicating that soil remediation is urgently required for the health of the citizens and environments. Both 55–84% of adults and 31–56% of children cases exceeded the threshold of carcinogenic assessment (1 × 10⁻⁶), suggesting that a large portion of the population in these cities could be affected by heavy metals in soil. The study provides background understanding for decision making on remediation actions and environmental policy and hazardous waste management in Kazakhstan.
... Toxic metals are further found as a contaminant in fertilizer, which in turn can enter the food cycle [4][5][6]. The effect of toxic metal contamination on crop production has been well documented [6][7][8][9][10][11]. Various studies have shown that the general population is exposed to these chemicals through different sources of exposure [12][13][14][15][16][17]. ...
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Article
Toxic metals are extensively found in the environment, households, and workplaces and contaminate food and drinking water. The crosstalk between environmental exposure to toxic metals and human diseases has been frequently described. The toxic mechanism of action was classically viewed as the ability to dysregulate the redox status, production of inflammatory mediators and alteration of mitochondrial function. Recently, growing evidence showed that heavy metals might exert their toxicity through microRNAs (miRNA)—short, single-stranded, noncoding molecules that function as positive/negative regulators of gene expression. Aberrant alteration of the endogenous miRNA has been directly implicated in various pathophysiological conditions and signaling pathways, consequently leading to different types of cancer and human diseases. Additionally, the gene-regulatory capacity of miRNAs is particularly valuable in the brain—a complex organ with neurons demonstrating a significant ability to adapt following environmental stimuli. Accordingly, dysregulated miRNAs identified in patients suffering from neurological diseases might serve as biomarkers for the earlier diagnosis and monitoring of disease progression. This review will greatly emphasize the effect of the toxic metals on human miRNA activities and how this contributes to progression of diseases such as cancer and neurodegenerative disorders (NDDs).
... One probable mechanism is that soil conditions affect metal mobility and retention capacity (Mojid et al., 2016). High pH and organic matters favor the release of most heavy metals from contaminated soil colloids or heavy metal immobilization (Gil et al., 2018;Ma et al., 2019;Nedelescu et al., 2017;Wiatrowska and Komisarek, 2019). Khorshid and Thiele-Bruhn (2016) and Li et al. (2019) observed higher heavy metal concentrations in locations where soils had higher pH, and OM and heavier soil textures. ...
Article
This three-decade long study was conducted in the Pearl River Delta (PRD), a rapidly urbanizing region in southern China. Extensive soil samples for a diverse land uses were collected in 1989 (113), 2005 (1384), 2009 (521), and 2018 (421) for heavy metals of As, Cr, Cd, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb and Zn. Multiple pollution indices and Structural Equation Models (SEMs) were used in attribution analysis and comprehensive assessments. Data showed that majority of the sampling sites was contaminated by one or more heavy metals, but pollutant concentrations had not reached levels of concerns for food security or human health. There was an increasing trend in heavy metal contamination over time and the variations of soil contamination were site-, time- and pollutant-dependent. Areas with high concentrations of heavy metals overlapped with highly industrialized and populated areas in western part of the study region. A dozen SEMs path analyses were used to compare the relative influences of key environmental factors on soil contamination across space and time. The high or elevated soil contaminations by As, Cr, Ni, Cu and Zn were primarily affected by soil properties during the study period, except 1989–2005, followed by land use patterns. Parent materials had a significant effect on soil contamination of Cd, Cr, Ni, Pb and the overall soil pollution during 1989–2005. We hypothesized that other factors not considered in the present study, such as atmospheric deposition, sewage irrigation, and agrochemical uses, may be also important to explain the variability of soil contamination. This study implied that strategies to improve soil physiochemical properties and optimize landscape structures are viable methods to mitigate soil contamination. Future studies should monitor pollutant sources identified by this study to fully understand the causes of heavy metal contamination in rapidly industrialized regions in southern China.
... Various studies worked on hydrochemical features and groundwater contamination resulted from anthropogenic intervention, such as industrial and agricultural activities (Avci et al. 2018;Raju et al. 2011;Roy et al. 2018). PTMs, such as lead (Pb), nickel (Ni), cadmium (Cd), zinc (Zn), and chromium (Cr), once enter in the ecosystem, concealed for years, rendering groundwater and posed deleterious health effects (Ahmed et al. 2019;Nedelescu et al. 2017), particularly in sensitive groups (children, pregnant women, and aged people) (Hough et al. 2004). These elements accumulate in the adipose tissues of humans (Bhuiyan et al. 2010) that badly affect the body systems, like Responsible Editor: Philippe Garrigues Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-019-07219-y) ...
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This study aimed to investigate the contamination of drinking water sources with potentially toxic metals (PTMs) together with some hydrochemical characteristics in the highly populated industrial zone of Pakistan. For this purpose, drinking (n = 40) and surface (n = 20) water samples were collected and analyzed for PTM using graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrophotometer (GFAAS, PerkinElmer-700, USA). The metals, including cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn), showed significantly (p = 0.05) higher concentrations than their respective limits set by the World Health Organization (WHO 2011) in drinking water. The chronic daily intake (CDI) and human hazard quotient (HQ) were also evaluated. The highest daily intake through drinking water consumption was found for Ni (4.3 μg/kg/day), while lowest for Cd (0.25 μg/kg/day). The highest hazard quotient values were found for Cd (0.33) and Ni (0.29) that could be attributed to industrial wastewater discharge. Higher CDI and HQ values of Ni and Cd may cause chronic human health problems. According to the Chadha Piper diagram, the hydrochemical facies distribution indicated that water trend in the study area followed an order such as follows: Ca–Mg–Cl < Na–Cl < Ca–HCO3 < Na–HCO3. Statistical analysis using one-way ANOVA, correlation analysis, and principal component analysis (PCA) revealed that the elevated levels of PTM were attributed to industrial wastewater discharge. This study provides baseline information for policy makers and the effective management of water in populated industrialized zone.
... Heavy metals can transfer from soil to vegetables, a process which human activities may enhance. As a result, the accumulation of several heavy metals in rural and urban soils at excessive levels can cause serious health problems in humans (Huang et al. 2018;Nedelescu et al. 2017;Rai et al. 2019). The residents' health condition and heavy metal values in blood were determined to evaluate individual exposure to heavy metals. ...
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This study evaluates the heavy metal (As, Cd, Cu, Hg, Pb, and Zn) contamination in soil, surface water, and crops in Uthai District, Ayutthaya Province, Thailand, an agricultural area located near an industrial park. Further, the blood levels of these metals in residents living in the study area are investigated. The concentrations of the six metals in soil were below the values permitted under the Soil Quality Standard, Thailand. In contrast, the concentrations of As and Hg in surface water exceeded the permissible limits. For the crops, all heavy metal values in eggplant, kale, and rice were at safe levels. However, in basil, both Hg and Cu levels exceeded the permissible limits, and in coriander, Hg content exceeded the permissible limit. Additionally, the potential health risks of heavy metal exposure through consumption of local crops were assessed using target hazard quotients (THQs) and hazard indices (HIs). The former values of the crops varied. 100.0% for As, 40% for Cd, 60% for Cu, 20% for Pb, and 30% for Zn of the analyzed samples had THQs above 1. This indicated that consumers were probably exposed to some non-carcinogenic health risk (except for Hg which was 0%). Of greater concern, the HI values of each consumed crop were > 1, indicating obvious risk of adverse health effect. Finally, the heavy metal levels in blood from a sample of local residents (n = 16) were assessed along with blood chemistry tests. The levels of all heavy metals were within the normal ranges. Nevertheless, heavy metal contamination in both the environment and food crops raise concerns of health risks to the residents of this area.
... Due to the fact that plants have the capacity to accumulate metals in the soil, the ratio between metal concentration in the plant and in the soil was measured. Using equation (1) [16], the transfer coefficient (tf) was determined. ...
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Heavy metals in contaminated soils have benefited from a considerable attention due to the possible risks for the human body. The current study has investigated the accumulation and transfer coefficient for three heavy metals (Cu, Pb, Zn) found in the contaminated soil with three concentrations (c1=1.5%, c2=3.0%, c3=4.5%, c4=6.0%), obtained by mixing the three metals, in the tomato fruit. The highest accumulation in the tomato fruits was recorded for zinc, then copper and the smallest for lead, for all four concentrations used. The transfer coefficient decreases as the concentration of heavy metals increases, so that for high heavy metals concentrations, the values of the transfer coefficient are very low, and for small heavy metals concentrations in the soil, the values for the transfer coefficient are higher. The assessment of accumulation and transfer of heavy metals in the fruits of tomatoes grown in the contaminated soil has concluded that all concentrations of the copper, lead and zinc mix have shown a low risk for human consumption.
... Beside septic tanks, backyard farming is other important point sources of NO 2 À and NO 3 À , while intensive agriculture and farming in the outskirt of the town are the main diffuse pollution sources with pesticides, NO 2 À and NO 3 À . Furthermore, the former smelter located near the study area polluted soil and groundwater with Pb, Cd, Cu, and Zn (Nedelescu et al. 2017). Another metal pollution source is represented by traffic and urban run-off that may reach the nearby river or infiltrate into the groundwater. ...
Article
Quality and potential health risk of drinking waters in Medias town, localized near a former non-ferrous ore smelter, in Romania, was assessed using drinking water quality index (DWQI), hazard quotient (HQ) and total hazard quotient (THQ). A total of 29 water samples collected from 26 wells and 3 springs used as drinking water sources, located in relative proximity of agricultural, industrial or household contamination sources were studied. The obtained results indicated high NO2-, NO3-, Cd and Mn levels, which exceeded the corresponding maximum allowable concentrations. According to DWQI, only 10% of water sources have acceptable quality, while 21% have threatened- and 69% have poor- quality. The health risk assessment suggested high risk for NO3-, as for more than 72% of the drinking waters HQNO3- > 1.0, and no risk for metals and NO2- (HQmetals<1.0; HQNO2-<1.0).
... Language delay [55] Disturbances in mental and motor development [56] PCBs Neurological disorders [57] Industrial regions often have extensive environmental contamination by metals. In Romania, lead, cadmium, copper, and zinc contaminated crops, exceeding maximum acceptable levels in some samples [61]. In China, cadmium from a zinc smelter contaminated leaf and root vegetables particularly [62]. ...
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Contamination by chemicals from the environment is a major global food safety issue, posing a serious threat to human health. These chemicals belong to many groups, including metals/metalloids, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), persistent organic pollutants (POPs), perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs), radioactive elements, electronic waste, plastics, and nanoparticles. Some of these occur naturally in the environment, whilst others are produced from anthropogenic sources. They may contaminate our food—crops, livestock, and seafood—and drinking water and exert adverse effects on our health. It is important to perform assessments of the associated potential risks. Monitoring contamination levels, enactment of control measures including remediation, and consideration of sociopolitical implications are vital to provide safer food globally.
... do not support the elevated Cr content in plant tissues and could not be recommended as an evaluation factor of plant pollution. In the paper ( Nedelescu M. et al.. 2017) presented a study of daily intake by resident population in Copsa Mica 62 subjects and in Zlatna region 68 subjects. Food consumption in the studied areas showed an average consumption of 0.95 kg potatoes per person per week. ...
... Agricultural soil is a long-term sink for potentially toxic elements including cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn) (Nicholson et al., 2003;Zhu et al., 2013;Hou et al., 2014;Chen et al., 2015Chen et al., , 2017aCao et al., 2016;Ding and Xu, 2016;Jeon et al., 2017;Nedelescu et al., 2017). Heavy metals including these enter the agro-ecosystem through both natural and anthropogenic processes Yang et al., 2016;Jiang et al., 2017;Lin et al., 2017;Xia et al., 2017). ...
Article
Two quantitative methods (emission inventory and isotope ratio analysis) were combined to apportion source contributions of heavy metals entering agricultural soils in the Lihe River watershed (Taihu region, east China). Source apportionment based on the emission inventory method indicated that for Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, and Zn, the mean percentage input from atmospheric deposition was highest (62-85%), followed by irrigation (12-27%) and fertilization (1-14%). Thus, the heavy metals were derived mainly from industrial activities and traffic emissions. For Ni the combined percentage input from irrigation and fertilization was approximately 20% higher than that from atmospheric deposition, indicating that Ni was mainly derived from agricultural activities. Based on isotope ratio analysis, atmospheric deposition accounted for 57-93% of Pb entering soil, with the mean value of 69.3%, which indicates that this was the major source of Pb entering soil in the study area. The mean contributions of irrigation and fertilization to Pb pollution of soil ranged from 0% to 10%, indicating that they played only a marginally important role. Overall, the results obtained using the two methods were similar. This study provides a reliable approach for source apportionment of heavy metals entering agricultural soils in the study area, and clearly have potential application for future studies in other regions.
... 202 Lead contamination of food remains a health issue, particularly for LMICs. [203][204][205][206][207][208] Foods grown in lead-contaminated water also remain a per- sistent source of lead, indicating the importance of soil remediation in areas with high levels of lead pollution. 209 Additionally, hand-to-mouth activity remains a major route of lead exposure in children from the ingestion of lead-contaminated dust. ...
Article
Lead is a heavy metal that remains a persistent environmental toxin. Although there have been a substantial number of reviews published on the health effects of lead, these reviews have predominantly focused on recent publications and rarely look at older, more historical articles. Old documents on lead can provide useful insight in establishing the historical context of lead usage and its modes of toxicity. The objective of this review is to explore historical understandings and uses of lead prior to the 20th century. One hundred eighty-eight English language articles that were published before the year 1900 were included in this review. Major themes in historical documentation of lead toxicology include lead’s use in medical treatments, symptoms of lead poisoning, treatments for lead poisoning, occupational lead poisonings, and lead contamination in food and drinking water. The results of this review indicate that lead’s usage was widespread throughout the 19th century, and its toxic properties were well-known. Common symptoms of lead poisoning and suggested treatments were identified during this time period. This review provides important insight into the knowledge and uses of lead before the 20th century and can serve as a resource for researchers looking at the history of lead.
... With regard to different sources of exposure to heavy metals, in a recent study in Romania, it was found that daily intake rates of metals through local vegetable consumption exceeded the limit values established by the European Food Safety Authority for Pb 1.2-2.4 times) and Cd 5.5-9.1 times) in industrially contaminated areas (Nedelescu et al., 2017). Besides diet, inhalation of traffic emitted particles represents an additional source of exposure, independently from the fuel type or the vehicle mileage (Golokhvast et al., 2015), while metallic impurities of multiwalled carbon nanotubes may be a potential source of exposure from both inhalation and skin routes (Vitkina et al., 2016). ...
Article
The first Italian human biomonitoring survey (PROBE – PROgramme for Biomonitoring general population Exposure) considered a reference population of adolescents, aged 13–15 years, living in urban and rural areas and investigated their exposure to metals. The study was expanded up to 453 adolescents living in the same areas of Latium Region (Italy) and blood samples were analyzed for 19 metals (As, Be, Cd, Co, Cr, Hg, Ir, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb, Pd, Pt, Rh, Sb, Sn, Tl, V, and W) by sector field inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The exposure assessment was contextualized following an exposome approach that considered several determinants related to the subjects, available environmental parameters and geo-coding of residence address. To assess the influence of exposure determinants and modifiers on children biomarkers levels we used two independent methodologies. The first makes use of the so-called Environment-Wide Association Study (EWAS) methodology while the second was based on the application of a Generalized Liner Model (GLM) capturing co-exposures to pairs of key determinants. Based on our analysis, Hg and As were positively associated with dietary pathways (primarily linked to fish and to a lesser extent to milk consumption) while Cr showed a more complex interaction between co-exposure to different dietary pathways (milk and fish) coupled to proximity of residence to industrial activities. In addition to diet, socio-economic status of the mother revealed robust statistical associations with Cd, Ni and W biomonitoring levels in the respective children.
... A wide range of scientists has initiated the modeling of such complex ecosystems addressing the challenging societal issues arriving with urbanization [1]. In this context, air pollution and associated environmental processes in urban areas are major environmental challenges affecting significantly the health of inner citizens [2,3]. The latest scenarios concerning the trends of air pollution have estimated that poor quality of air due to high concentrations of airborne pollutants and population growth in urban areas will become the main environmental risk factors influencing morbidity and mortality of inner residents in the coming decades [4]. ...
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The paper describes the application of real-time environmental monitoring, local and long-range transport dispersion modeling and Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) systems that can improve the fast knowledge regarding the air pollution status to determine the actual outdoor conditions for living in a specific urban area. A case study using such techniques is presented for a pollution event with fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) in Targoviste, Romania. PM 2.5 time series were recorded during the pollution event by two optical monitoring systems providing an average of 184.1, maximum of 323, and minimum of 107 µg m-3 (DustTrack TM 8533 EP system), and 177.4, 321 and 93 µg m-3 (Rokidair microstation), respectively. PM 2.5 concentrations and forward trajectories were computed using two programs: BREEZE® AERMOD 7.9 and HYSPLIT dispersion model. The obtained results emphasize the usefulness of embedding dispersion modeling advanced tools to supplement monitoring results and to characterize the source apportionment.
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Natural and anthropogenic activities affect soil heavy metal pollution at different spatial scales. Quantifying the spatial variability of soil pollution and its driving forces at different scales is essential for pollution mitigation opportunities. This study applied a multivariate factorial kriging technique to investigate the spatial variability of soil heavy metal pollution and its relationship with environmental factors at multiple scales in a highly urbanized area of Guangzhou, South China. We collected 318 topsoil samples and used five types of environmental factors for the attribution analysis. By factorial kriging, we decomposed the total variance of soil pollution into a nugget effect, a short-range (3 km) variance and a long-range (12 km) variance. The distribution of patches with a high soil pollution level was scattered in the eastern and northwestern parts of the study domain at a short-range scale, while they were more clustered at a long-range scale. The correlations between the soil pollution and environmental factors were either enhanced or counteracted across the three distinct scales. The predictors of soil heavy metal pollution changed from the soil physiochemical properties to anthropogenic dominated factors with the studied scale increase. Our study results suggest that the soil physiochemical properties were a good proxy to soil pollution across the scales. Improving the soil physiochemical properties such as increasing the soil organic matter is essentially effective across scales while restoring vegetation around pollutant sources as a nature-based solution at a large scale would be beneficial for alleviating local soil pollution
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Contamination in food is a matter of global concern as high levels of contaminants can lead to serious health risks for consumers. Protecting the public from the harmfulness of contaminated food is a critical task. Governments throughout the world have strengthened their efforts to regulate food safety through maintaining quality control. For example, The National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST), USA has been proactive through the release of Standard Reference Materials for food analyses to maintain food quality and food safety. Likewise, several other National Metrology Institutes (NMIs) throughout the world such as NIM China, KRISS Korea, NMI Australia have dedicated themselves for the development of Certified Reference Materials to ensure quality and safety of food. In India, as an initiative to boost “Make in India” program and for the development of quality infrastructure of country CSIR-National Physical Laboratory, NMI of India has started working for development of Bhartiya Nirdeshak Dravyas (BNDs) an Indian Reference Material in food sector for maintaining safety and quality of food. Hence, this paper reviews major staple crops worldwide, sources of contaminants in them, their implication on human health, necessity of reference materials, international scenario, efforts of CSIR-NPL in development of food BNDs and its impact on society. Also, other preventive measures to control the contaminants have been discussed and pointed out.
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Heavy metal-immobilizing bacteria are normally capable of stabilizing metals and affecting their absorption by plants. However, few studies have elucidated the mechanisms employed by novel heavy metal-immobilizing and plant growth-promoting bacteria to immobilize Cd and Pb and reduce their uptake by vegetables. In this study, polyamine (PA)-producing strains were isolated and their effects on biomass and metal accumulation in water spinach (Ipomoea aquatica Forssk.) and the underlying mechanisms were investigated. Two PA-producing strains, Enterobacter bugandensis XY1 and Serratia marcescens X43, were isolated. Strains XY1 and X43 reduced the aqueous Cd and Pb levels (49%–52%) under 10 mg L⁻¹ Cd and 20 mg L⁻¹ Pb because of metal ion chelation by bacterially produced PAs and cell adsorption. Further evidence showed that Cd and Pb were bound and precipitated on the bacterial cell surface in the form of Cd(OH)2, CdCO3 and PbO. Compared with strain-free water spinach, greens inoculated with strains XY1 and X43 showed 51%–80% lower Cd and Pb contents. The rhizosphere soil pH and PA contents were significantly higher, and lower contents of the rhizosphere soil acid-soluble fractions of Cd (18%–39%) and Pb (31%–37%) were observed compared to the noninoculated control. Moreover, inoculation with XY1 reduced the diversity of the bacterial community, but the relative abundances of plant growth-promoting and PA-producing bacteria in rhizosphere soil were enriched, which enhanced water spinach resistance to Cd and Pb toxicity. Our findings describe novel heavy metal-immobilizing bacteria that could be used to improve the habitat of vegetables and reduce their uptake of heavy metals.
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Trace detection of multiple toxic heavy metals is a very important and difficult problem, conveniently, sensitively, and reliably. In this work, we developed an innovative electrochemical sensor for simultaneously detected heavy metal ions (Cd2+, Hg2+, Cu2+, and Pb2+). In order to detect trace amounts of Cd(II), Pb(II), Cu(II), and Hg(II) in food quickly, accurately, and at low cost, this study used electrochemical reduction to prepare a screen-printed electrode (3DGO) modified with 3DGO and UiO-66-NH2 composite nanomaterials (UiO-66-NH2/SPCE). The sensing platform is composed of three-dimensional graphene (3DGO), aminated UiO-66 metal–organic framework, named 3DGO/UiO-66-NH2. It is worth noting that the porous structure, amino functional groups on the surface, and large specific surface area of UiO-66-NH2 can enrich and promote the absorption of heavy metal ions. 3DGO was introduced to improve the electrochemical activity and conductivity of UiO-66-NH2 material. The construction of this new sensing platform, which can synchronously, reliably, and sensitively simultaneously detect Cd2+, Pb2+, Cu2+, and Hg2+ only in 150 s in the linear range of 0.01–0.35 pM with the detection limitations, is 10.90 fM, 5.98 fM, 2.89 fM, and 3.1 fM, respectively. This method provides a new strategy that uses MOF materials for electrochemical detection of a variety of heavy metal ions in food.
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Historical mining activities are a source of environmental pollution that affects the food chain and the health of human beings. The aim of this study was assessment the accumulation of arsenic and lead in vegetables grown in agricultural soils contaminated by old mining in Zacatecas, Mexico. The concentration of arsenic and lead in agricultural soil and edible parts of carrot, garlic, and pepper was analyzed by atomic absorption spectrometry. The soil-vegetable bioconcentration factor and pollution load index were determined. The pH values of the farmland were alkaline. The concentration of arsenic in agricultural soil exceeds the permissible limit for arsenic of Mexican standards and international representing health risks. The lead content in most soil samples they were low. The arsenic and lead content in edible parts of species vegetable exceeded the national standard from various countries and the values established by the Codex Alimentarius (FAO-WHO). The highest arsenic concentration was found both in Capsicum annum and Allium sativum . The highest concentration of Pb was in pepper fruits. Among vegetable the high BCF value was for arsenic, ranging from 2.33 to 0.64, and the average for all vegetable samples was 1.01. The pollution index indicates that arsenic is the dominant pollutant accumulated in soil and vegetables grown in agricultural soils. According to the findings, the state and national agricultural and health authorities should not recommend the cultivation of vegetables in agricultural soil located in this area of historical mining activities. Likewise, preventive measures must be taken on the consumption of contaminated vegetables and certifying their safety.
Chapter
Environmental exposures contribute to 19% of global cancer incidences. Around 10% of all deaths and diseases worldwide are also attributed to environmental factors. With the increase in human population worldwide, there is a rise in the impact on the environment pollution. For example, the dangers of migration, transportation, refining, and mining now extend to global climate change. The burden of disease around the globe attributed to the unhealthy environment is 22% that caused death of 12.6 million people in 2012 representing 23% of all deaths. Up to 26% of all losses of life in children below the age of 5 years could be avoided by removing environmental risks. Understanding public health is therefore important to safeguard the health of public. In addressing these issues, this chapter discusses the fundamentals of public health.
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Soil and water pollution by heavy metals is rising every day. The presence of heavy metals in the soil is very destructive for agriculture and consequently for consumers. Nowadays, there are various chemical, physical, and biological methods for soil remediation. Bioremediation involves the use of microorganisms: yeasts, bacteria, or fungi. In particular, mycoremediation is an effective method for soil decontamination because its highly efficient, not expensive, and offers the possibility to destroy contaminants using biological activity of fungi. This study provides an overview of the biological methods currently known in the field with emphasis on mycoremediation of heavy metals. REZUMAT Poluarea solului și a apei cu metale grele crește în fiecare zi. Prezența metalelor grele în sol este foarte distructivă pentru agricultură și, în consecință, pentru consumatori. În prezent, există diferite metode chimice, fizice și biologice pentru remedierea solului. Bioremedierea presupune utilizarea microorganismelor precum drojdii, bacterii sau fungi. Micoremedierea este o metodă eficientă pentru decontaminarea solului, nu este scumpă și oferă posibilitatea de a distruge contaminanții folosind activitatea biologică a fungilor. Acest studiu oferă o imagine de ansamblu asupra metodelor biologice cunoscute în prezent în domeniu, pentru eliminarea metalelor din solul contaminat. INTRODUCTION The soil plays the role of a filter that can retain toxic substances and serve as a deposit for them. Soil quality is under an increased attention of scientists because 70-90% of the feed grown on the soil are contaminated by various toxins which are incorporated into the plants through nutrition. The most frequent contaminants of the soil in Europe are heavy metals and mineral oil (Moldoveanu A. M., 2014). In this paper, the literature has been used to review the current state of the problem of the soil heavy metal contamination and bioremediation methods. The soil naturally contains heavy metals in certain limits (for example, normal values are 20 mg/kg dry matter for Cu or Pb and 100 mg/kg dry matter for Zn). Due to the industrialization, soil contains significantly higher amounts of the inorganic contaminants including the heavy metal components. These hazardous pollutants have a high density of more than 5 g/cm³ that poses different problems (i.e. reduction in land usability for agricultural production and damage security of the food). Biological methods of the metal removal rely on complex processes that depend on the chemistry of metal ions, cell wall compositions of microorganisms, physiology of the organism, and physico-chemical factors like pH, temperature, time, ionic strength, and metal concentration.
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In this paper we present a novel methodology for identifying stakeholders for the purpose of engaging with them in transdisciplinary, sustainability research projects. In transdisciplinary research, it is important to identify a range of stakeholders prior to the problem-focussed stages of research. Early engagement with diverse stakeholders creates space for them to influence the research process, including problem definition, from the start. However, current stakeholder analysis approaches ignore this initial identification process, or position it within the subsequent content-focussed stages of research. Our methodology was designed as part of a research project into a range of soil threats in seventeen case study locations throughout Europe. Our methodology was designed to be systematic across all sites. It is based on a snowball sampling approach that can be implemented by researchers with no prior experience of stakeholder research, and without requiring significant financial or time resources. It therefore fosters transdisciplinarity by empowering physical scientists to identify stakeholders and understand their roles. We describe the design process and outcomes, and consider their applicability to other research projects. Our methodology therefore consists of a two-phase process of design and implementation of an identification questionnaire. By explicitly including a design phase into the process, it is possible to tailor our methodology to other research projects. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11625-016-0385-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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The purpose of this study was to assess soil heavy metal contamination and the potential risk for local residents in Suxian county of Hunan Province, southern China. Soil, rice and vegetable samples from the areas near the mining industrial districts were sampled and analyzed. The results indicate that the anthropogenic mining activities have caused local agricultural soil contamination with As, Pb, Cu and Cd in the ranges of 8.47-341.33 mg/kg, 19.91-837.52 mg/kg, 8.41-148.73 mg/kg and 0.35-6.47 mg/kg, respectively. GIS-based mapping shows that soil heavy metal concentrations abruptly diminish with increasing distance from the polluting source. The concentrations of As, Pb, Cu and Cd found in rice were in the ranges of 0.02-1.48 mg/kg, 0.66-5.78 mg/kg, 0.09-6.75 mg/kg, and up to 1.39 mg/kg, respectively. Most of these concentrations exceed their maximum permissible levels for contaminants in foods in China. Heavy metals accumulate to significantly different levels between leafy vegetables and non-leafy vegetables. Food consumption and soil ingestion exposure are the two routes that contribute to the average daily intake dose of heavy metals for local adults. Moreover, the total hazard indices of As, Pb and Cd are greater than or close to the safety threshold of 1. Long-term As, Pb and Cd exposure through the regular consumption of the soil, rice and vegetables in the investigated area poses potential health problems to residents in the vicinity of the mining industry.
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In soil environments, sorption/desorption reactions as well as chemical complexation with inorganic and organic ligands and redox reactions, both biotic and abiotic, are of great importance in controlling their bioavailability, leaching and toxicity. These reactions are affected by many factors such as pH, nature of the sorbents, presence and concentration of organic and inorganic ligands, including humic and fulvic acid, root exudates, microbial metabolites and nutrients. In this review, we highlight the impact of physical, chemical, and biological interfacial interactions on bioavailability and mobility of metals and metalloids in soil. Special attention is devoted to: i) the sorption/desorption processes of metals and metalloids on/from soil components and soils; ii) their precipitation and reduction-oxidation reactions in solution and onto surfaces of soil components; iii) their chemical speciation, fractionation and bioavailability.
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This study investigated the extent of heavy metal accumulation in leaf vegetables and associated potential health risks in agricultural areas of the Pearl River Delta (PRD), South China. Total concentrations of mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), chromium (Cr) and arsenic (As) were determined in 92 pairs of soil and leaf vegetable (flowering Chinese cabbage, lettuce, pakchoi, Chinese cabbage, loose-leaf lettuce, and Chinese leaf mustard) samples collected from seven agricultural areas (cities). The bioconcentration factors (BCF) of heavy metals from soil to vegetables were estimated, and the potential health risks of heavy metal exposure to the PRD residents through consumption of local leaf vegetables were assessed. Results showed that among the six leaf vegetables, pakchoi had the lowest capacity for heavy metal enrichment, whereas among the five heavy metals, Cd had the highest capacity for transferring from soil into vegetables, with BCF values 30-fold those of Hg and 50-fold those of Cr, Pb and As. Sewage irrigation and fertilization were likely the main sources of heavy metals accumulated in leaf vegetables grown in agricultural areas of the PRD region. Different from previous findings, soil pH had no clear effect on metal accumulation in leaf vegetables. Despite a certain degree of metal enrichment from soil to leaf vegetables, the PRD residents were not exposed to significant health risks associated with consumption of local leaf vegetables. Nevertheless, more attention should be paid to children due to their sensitivity to metal pollutants.
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The environmental safety of soil has become severe in China with the boost of industrialization and urbanization. In this paper, on the basis of investigating the status of soil contaminated in China, the remediation technologies of soil contaminated by heavy metals, including physical remediation, chemical remediation and biological remediation were focused. The mechanisms of remediation, strengths and drawbacks, developing trend were reviewed in order to supply reference to the study in this field.
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Metal contamination in agricultural soils is of increasing concern due to food safety issues and potential health risks. Accumulation of Heavy and trace metals in vegetables occur by various sources but soil is considered the major one. Consumption of vegetables containing (heavy/trace) metals is one of the main ways in which these elements enter the human body. Once entered, heavy metals are deposited in bone and fat tissues, overlapping noble minerals and cause an array of diseases. The present study aimed to investigate the concentration of different metals in agricultural soil and vegetables grown on those soils and to evaluate the possible health risks to human body through food chain transfer. Contamination levels in soils and vegetables with metals were measured and transfer factors (TF) from soil to vegetables and its health risk were calculated accordingly. Results showed that concentration of Si, Ba, K, Ca, Mg Fe, Sc, V, Cr, Cu, Zn, As, Mn, Co, Ni, Se, Sr, Mo, and Cd in soil is higher than the World Average value and Al, Ti and Pb is lower than the World Average value whereas concentration of toxic elements like As, Co, Cu, Mn, Pb, Se, Ni, V and Zn in vegetable samples are below the World Average value. The intake of toxic metals (Fe, Cu, Mn, Zn Co, Cr, V, Ni, Pb and Cd) from vegetables is not high and within the permissible limit recommended by WHO, Food & Nutritional Board and US EPA. The Hazard Quotient (HQ) for Fe, Cu, Co, Cr, V, Ni, Pb, Mn, Zn and Cd were calculated which showed a decreasing order of Cd>Mn>Zn>Pb>Cu>Fe>Ni>V=Co>Cr. Highest HQ value found for Cd (2.543) which is above the safe value.
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Background Several epidemiologic studies have suggested an association between Parkinson’s disease (PD) and exposure to heavy metals using subjective exposure measurements. Objectives We investigated the association between objective chronic occupational lead exposure and the risk of PD. Methods We enrolled 121 PD patients and 414 age-, sex-, and race-, frequency-matched controls in a case–control study. As an indicator of chronic Pb exposure, we measured concentrations of tibial and calcaneal bone Pb stores using 109Cadmium excited K-series X-ray fluorescence. As an indicator of recent exposure, we measured blood Pb concentration. We collected occupational data on participants from 18 years of age until the age at enrollment, and an industrial hygienist determined the duration and intensity of environmental Pb exposure. We employed physiologically based pharmacokinetic modeling to combine these data, and we estimated whole-body lifetime Pb exposures for each individual. Logistic regression analysis produced estimates of PD risk by quartile of lifetime Pb exposure. Results Risk of PD was elevated by > 2-fold [odds ratio = 2.27 (95% confidence interval, 1.13–4.55); p = 0.021] for individuals in the highest quartile for lifetime lead exposure relative to the lowest quartile, adjusting for age, sex, race, smoking history, and coffee and alcohol consumption. The associated risk of PD for the second and third quartiles were elevated but not statistically significant at the α = 0.05 level. Conclusions These results provide an objective measure of chronic Pb exposure and confirm our earlier findings that occupational exposure to Pb is a risk factor for PD.
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In soil environments, sorption/desorption reactions as well as chemical complexation with inorganic and organic ligands and redox reactions, both biotic and abiotic, are of great importance in controlling their bioavailability, leaching and toxicity. These reactions are affected by many factors such as pH, nature of the sorbents, presence and concentration of organic and inorganic ligands, including humic and fulvic acid, root exudates, microbial metabolites and nutrients. In this review, we highlight the impact of physical, chemical, and biological interfacial interactions on bioavailability and mobility of metals and metalloids in soil. Special attention is devoted to: i) the sorption/desorption processes of metals and metalloids on/from soil components and soils; ii) their precipitation and reduction-oxidation reactions in solution and onto surfaces of soil components; iii) their chemical speciation, fractionation and bioavailability.
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A field experiment was carried out in order to assess the effect of urea, topsoil and municipal compost addition on plant performance and on the uptake of heavy metals by plants from contaminated soil. The experimental site was a disturbed soil in spite of remediation actions after several decades of uranium leaching (Eastern Thuringia, Germany) in 2004. Two plant species, Lupinus angustifolius L. and Secale cereale L. were grown at the site in a controlled experiment. We estimated the differences in soil pH, soil humidity, metal content, S-SO4, P-PO4, nitrogen (ammonium, nitrate and nitrite), plant growth, and plant uptake of metals between the experimental variants. The study indicated that the most efficient treatment (in terms of biomass increase) was compost, followed by topsoil and urea addition. The mechanism underlying this effect was the change in soil parameters leading to higher availability of nutrients. There was, however, a depletion of the soil nitrogen in the amended variants at the end of the growing season. Keywords Heavy metal; Lupinus angustifolius; Municipal compost; Remediation; Secale cereale; Soil; Topsoil; Acid mine drainage
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Abstract: There are, in Romania, three areas, Copşa Mica, Zlatna and Baia Mare, very strongly polluted with heavy metals caused by non-ferrous ores extraction and processing industry performed more than two centuries. Intensifying of these activities, especially in the last part of the twentieth century, most often without environment protection measures, has led to pollution of all environment components, particularly soil. The soil cover in these three areas is composed of very contrasting soils in terms of origin, physical and chemical properties, fact that leads to a differentiate absorption of heavy metals in edible parts of vegetable and fruits. The soils belonging to these three zones are prevalent acid, with small areas covered by neutral or slight alkaline, oligo-mezo-basic soils. The humus and total nitrogen content level is different. Phosphorous and potassium soil supply is low, up to medium level. Loamy texture is dominant. The heavy metals total contents in soil take up to 2.3 times (Cd), 1.7 times (Cu) and 2.1 times (Zn) the maximum allowable limits. The mobile forms contents are 4.2 times to 10.5 times higher than maximum allowable limits values. The most part of the cadmium total content in soils (63%) belongs to the soil solution, exchangeable colloidal complex and organic matter. The lead in soil solution and exchangeable colloidal complex represents only 13% from the total content. The most part of the lead is bounding by the organic matter. In the edible part of the fresh root vegetables (carrots, radish, potatoes) high cadmium and lead contents were recorded, that exceeded up to 2.5 times, respectively 11 times, the maximum allowable limits. In leafy vegetables (lettuce, parsley, dill, orach) were recorded systematic contents of heavy metals higher than the normal, reaching up to 7 times for Cd, or 17 times for Pb higher than normal concentration. Between content in mobile forms of heavy metals in soils and vegetables were set up direct proportionality, in most cases provided statistically. Systematic consumption of vegetables and fruits polluted with heavy metals by the inhabitants of thus polluted zones is leading to the healthiness state altering and to appearance of some chronically diseases with unpredictable final.
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The concentration and distribution of Pb, Cu, Zn and Cd in the soils from Zlatna and Copşa Mică (Romania) highly polluted by metallurgical activity, have been studied in the soil profile for different types of soils related with the physical and chemical properties of the soils. In Zlatna area, there have been studied the Aluviosol, Dystricambosol and Alosol types and in Copşa Mică area the Aluviosol and Phaeozem types. Content of humus, pH, cation exchange capacity, base saturation, organic carbon, C/N ratio, nutrient elements, texture and the heavy metals concentration in total and mobile form were determined for each pedogenetic horizon. The heavy metals concentration varies within the soil profiles related with different properties of the soils and with the metal species. The highest concentrations of lead, of 245 ppm to763 ppm, are in relation with the organic horizons, in conditions of acid pH (3.12 – 3.85) of Dystricambosols and of Alosols from Zlatna zone, and of 561 ppm to 2768 ppm in Aluviosols and Phaeozems from Copşa Mică area, in conditions of alkaline pH. Lead contents decrease suddenly, under the maximum allowable limit in C horizons within the soil profiles. The affinity of Pb for surface horizons is emphasized by the excessive contents of global samples of 995 ppm in Z-T, 980 ppm in Z-2 and of 5000 ppm in CM-T. The copper contents of the soil profiles, close to the maximum allowable limit are specific for the surface horizon of Dystricambosols (73.8 ppm), for the global sample Z-T, (99.7ppm) and for the Aluviosols in Copşa Mică area (71.1 to 96.9 ppm). Copper concentrations of 1165 ppm from Zlatna area increase towards the site of smelter in the global sample Z-2. The copper concentration of Copşa Mică global sample, representative for Aluviosols type exceed maximum allowable limit, being of 199 ppm. In conditions of acid pH, Zn presents concentrations of 775 ppm and of 820 ppm at C and B horizons, rich in clay and with a higher content of Fe and Mn in Aluviosol and Dystricambosol types in Zlatna area. In conditions of neutral to alkaline pH (5.03, 7.10, 7.26) in the soils from Copşa Mică, Zn immobilization in quantities of 7500 ppm, 4900 ppm in Aluviosols, 684 ppm in the Phaeozem type and 8591ppm in global sample at the surface horizons it is associated with values of the humus content between 0.48-4.56 percent. The Cd contents of 5.05 ppm exceed the maximum allowable limit in the global sample Z-2. In Bv 65 horizon of Dystricambosols, the content of Cd is of 2.87 ppm in comparison with the contents under 1 ppm from the surface horizons. The increase of Cd content with the depth is related with the increase of the clay content and with acid pH conditions (3.72-4.59). In soils from Copşa Mică, Cd represents a concentration in the surface horizons of the soil's profiles, between 100-400 ppm in Aluviosols and 17.99 ppm in Phaeozem type. The high concentrations of Cd (175ppm) and of As (1500ppm) are related with the organic horizon of the soils from the global sample in Copşa Mică area. In comparison with lead and copper, cadmium has mobility on the soil's profile because it maintains the contents over maximum allowable limit values and the intervention limit in the intermediate horizons of the soil's profiles.
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We performed a rational reconstruction of the relationship between biogeochemistry and the study of ecological productive systems. A structural and a functional possibility for building biogeochemical integrated models with optimal complexity have been identified. The conceptual framework was then applied to metals in contaminated areas. Metal mobility results from the interaction (coupling) of environmental entities at a multitude of scales. We classified for the managerial interest the processes involved in metal mobility by their range of scales in “site” specific and “region” specific, and then detailed the processes involving theoretical entities specific to soil science, hydrology, and ecophysiology. In the end, we pointed out some consequences of the coupling between processes of different scales for the risk assessment of contaminated sites.
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We have applied a concept framework for scale-specific processes in order to characterize the role of the organic matter in the mobility of metals. At very small scale, we identified roles by immobilization of metals (immobilization in litter, immobilization in soil aggregates, dissolved organic carbon chelates in fine pores), by mobilization of metals (organochemical weathering, soluble chelates, organocolloids, free enzymatic degradation of immobile organic carbon), and by supporting the mobilization or immobilization of metals by other compartments at the same scale (energy source for microorganisms, buffering of soil solution). These roles have effects on the fluxes of metals and can be characterized at a larger scale: transfer of metals to plants and to lower soil layers by hydrological fluxes. At scales ranging from contaminated sites to watershed, we identified the same roles as above, that however up-scaled differently as a function of the site type (contaminated soil in the slope area, mining dump or tailing dam, contaminated soil in the floodplain, contaminated stream ecotone), with corresponding effects on the fluxes of metals subsoil and groundwater to surface water, on the transfer to surface water by lateral types of flows, transfer to floodplains, and volatilization (also differentiated as a function of the type of site). The literature is comprehensively screened for each case. The extent and consistency of the available scientific knowledge decrease with the increase of the system scale and complexity. Based on this analysis, multiscale biogeochemical and ecotoxicological research directions are suggested.
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Several lines of evidence indicate that the etiology of late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD) is complex, with significant contributions from both genes and environmental factors. Recent research suggests the importance of epigenetic mechanisms in defining the relationship between environmental exposures and LOAD. In epidemiologic studies of adults, cumulative lifetime lead (Pb) exposure has been associated with accelerated declines in cognition. In addition, research in animal models suggests a causal association between Pb exposure during early life, epigenetics, and LOAD. There are multiple challenges to human epidemiologic research evaluating the relationship between epigenetics, LOAD, and Pb exposure. Epidemiologic studies are not well-suited to accommodate the long latency period between exposures during early life and onset of Alzheimer's disease. There is also a lack of validated circulating epigenetics biomarkers and retrospective biomarkers of Pb exposure. Members of our research group have shown bone Pb is an accurate measurement of historical Pb exposure in adults, offering an avenue for future epidemiologic studies. However, this would not address the risk of LOAD attributable to early-life Pb exposures. Future studies that use a cohort design to measure both Pb exposure and validated epigenetic biomarkers of LOAD will be useful to clarify this important relationship.
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Heavy metal concentrations were measured in soils and plants in and around a copper-tungsten mine in southeast Korea to investigate the influence of past base metal mining on the surface environment. The results of chemical analysis indicate that the heavy metals in soils decreased with distance from the source, controlled mainly by water movement and topography. The metal concentrations measured in plant species generally decreased in the order; spring onions > soybean leaves > perilla leaves » red pepper > corn grains » jujube grains, although this pattern varied moderately between different elements. The results agree with other reports that metal concentrations in leaves are usually much higher than those in grain. Factors influencing the bioavailability of metals and their occurrences in crops were found as soil pH, cation exchange capacity, organic matter content, soil texture, and interaction among the target elements. It is concluded that total metal concentrations in soils are the main controls on their contents in plants. Soil pH was also an important factor. A stepwise linear multiple regression analysis was also conducted to identify the dominant factors influencing metal uptake by plants. Metal concentrations in plants were also estimated by computer-aided statistical methods.
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Heavy metal contamination of soils resulting from mining and smelting is causing major concern due to the potential risk involved. This study was designed to investigate the heavy metal (Cu, Zn, Pb and Cd) concentrations in soils and food crops and estimate the potential health risks of metals to humans via consumption of polluted food crops grown at four villages around the Dabaoshan mine, South China. The heavy metal concentrations in paddy and garden soils exceeded the maximum allowable concentrations for Chinese agricultural soil. The paddy soil at Fandong village was heavily contaminated with Cu (703 mg kg(-1)), Zn (1100 mg kg(-1)), Pb (386 mg kg(-1)) and Cd (5.5 mg kg(-1)). Rice tended to accumulated higher Cd and Pb concentration in grain parts. The concentrations of Cd, Pb and Zn in vegetables exceeded the maximum permissible concentration in China. Taro grown at the four sampled villages accumulated high concentrations of Zn, Pb and Cd. Bio-accumulation factors for heavy metals in different vegetables showed a trend in the order: Cd>Zn>Cu>Pb. Bio-accumulation factors of heavy metals were significantly higher for leafy than for non-leafy vegetable. The target hazard quotient (THQ) of rice at four sites varied from 0.66-0.89 for Cu, 0.48-0.60 for Zn, 1.43-1.99 for Pb, and 2.61-6.25 for Cd. Estimated daily intake (EDI) and THQs for Cd and Pb of rice and vegetables exceeded the FAO/WHO permissible limit. Heavy metal contamination of food crops grown around the mine posed a great health risk to the local population through consumption of rice and vegetables.
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We performed a risk assessment of metal exposure to population subgroups living on, and growing food on, urban sites. We modeled uptake of cadmium, copper, nickel, lead, and zinc for a selection of commonly grown allotment and garden vegetables. Generalized linear cross-validation showed that final predictions of Cd, Cu, Ni, and Zn content of food crops were satisfactory, whereas the Pb uptake models were less robust. We used predicted concentrations of metals in the vegetables to assess the risk of exposure to human populations from homegrown food sources. Risks from other exposure pathways (consumption of commercially produced foodstuffs, dust inhalation, and soil ingestion) were also estimated. These models were applied to a geochemical database of an urban conurbation in the West Midlands, United Kingdom. Risk, defined as a "hazard index," was mapped for three population subgroups: average person, highly exposed person, and the highly exposed infant (assumed to be a 2-year-old child). The results showed that food grown on 92% of the urban area presented minimal risk to the average person subgroup. However, more vulnerable population subgroups (highly exposed person and the highly exposed infant) were subject to hazard index values greater than unity. This study highlights the importance of site-specific risk assessment and the "suitable for use" approach to urban redevelopment.
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Lead is a metal which has been associated with human activities for the last 6000 years. In ancient civilizations, uses of lead included the manufacture of kitchen utensils, trays, and other decorative articles. However, lead is also toxic to humans, with the most deleterious effects on the hemopoietic, nervous, reproductive systems and the urinary tract. The main sources of lead exposure are paints, water, food, dust, soil, kitchen utensils, and leaded gasoline. The majority of cases of lead poisoning are due to oral ingestion and absorption through the gut. Lead poisoning in adults occurs more frequently during exposure in the workplace and primarily involves the central nervous system. Symptoms of hemopoietic system involvement include microcytic, hypochromic anemia with basophilic stippling of the erythrocytes. Hyperactivity, anorexia, decreased play activity, low intelligence quotient, and poor school performance have been observed in children with high lead levels. Lead crosses the placenta during pregnancy and has been associated with intrauterine death, prematurity, and low birth weight. In 1991, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the USA redefined elevated blood lead levels as those > or = 10 microg/dl and recommended a new set of guidelines for the treatment of lead levels > or =15 microg/dl.
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Several epidemiologic studies have suggested an association between Parkinson's disease (PD) and exposure to heavy metals using subjective exposure measurements. We investigated the association between objective chronic occupational lead exposure and the risk of PD. We enrolled 121 PD patients and 414 age, sex, and race, frequency-matched controls in a case-control study. As an indicator of chronic Pb exposure, we measured concentrations of tibial and calcaneal bone Pb stores using 109Cadmium excited K-series X-ray fluorescence. As an indicator of recent exposure, we measured blood Pb concentration. We collected occupational data on participants from 18 years of age until the age at enrollment, and an industrial hygienist determined the duration and intensity of environmental Pb exposure. We employed physiologically based pharmacokinetic modeling to combine these data, and we estimated wholebody lifetime Pb exposures for each individual. Logistic regression analysis produced estimates of PD risk by quartile of lifetime Pb exposure. Risk of PD was elevated by > 2-fold [odds ratio = 2.27 (95% confidence interval, 1.13-4.55); p = 0.021] for individuals in the highest quartile for lifetime lead exposure relative to the lowest quartile, adjusting for age, sex, race, smoking history, and coffee and alcohol consumption. The associated risk of PD for the second and third quartiles were elevated but not statistically significant at the alpha = 0.05 level. These results provide an objective measure of chronic Pb exposure and confirm our earlier findings that occupational exposure to Pb is a risk factor for PD.
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In this paper we present a novel methodology for identifying stakeholders for the purpose of engaging with them in transdisciplinary, sustainability research projects. In transdisciplinary research, it is important to identify a range of stakeholders prior to the problem-focussed stages of research. Early engagement with diverse stakeholders creates space for them to influence the research process, including problem definition, from the start. However, current stakeholder analysis approaches ignore this initial identification process, or position it within the subsequent content-focussed stages of research. Our methodology was designed as part of a research project into a range of soil threats in seventeen case study locations throughout Europe. Our methodology was designed to be systematic across all sites. It is based on a snowball sampling approach that can be implemented by researchers with no prior experience of stakeholder research, and without requiring significant financial or time resources. It therefore fosters transdisciplinarity by empowering physical scientists to identify stakeholders and understand their roles. We describe the design process and outcomes, and consider their applicability to other research projects. Our methodology therefore consists of a two-phase process of design and implementation of an identification questionnaire. By explicitly including a design phase into the process, it is possible to tailor our methodology to other research projects.
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This work presents the results of heavy metal determination through an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) technique in deciduous teeth and hair samples from children living in Copsa Mica, Sibiu County, which is known as one of the most polluted cities with heavy metals in Romania. The concentration of heavy metals in teeth of 5-12 years children from Copsa Mica ranged within 0.27-1.51 mu g/g for copper, 35.58-101.61 mu g/g for zinc, 0.006-0.047 mu g/g for cadmium and 0.22-1.9 mu g/g for lead. The average amounts of heavy metals in teeth from children living in the industrialised area were approximately between 60-95% higher than those from a control region without heavy metal exposure. The levels of cadmium, copper and zinc in hair samples were within the reference range for these elements, while the average lead content (9 mu g/g hair) was 4.5 times higher than the reference value. The amounts of heavy metals found in primary teeth and hair samples are correlated with environmental pollution of the Copsa Mica region, which indicates the use of these non-invasive biological samples as bioindicators of heavy metal pollution. Chronic exposure to heavy metals leads to accumulation of large quantities in the body, children being a group of high risk for developing neurological symptoms such as impaired memory, attention deficit or behaviour disorders.
Chapter
The effect of the root on the adjacent soil medium is mainly the release of organic and inorganic material into the soil. Predicting the bioavailability of trace elements to plants is a major agricultural and environmental issue. The prime entry of toxic elements in the food chain comprises the plants and the animals. Trace elements occur naturally in rocks and soils, but principally in forms that are nonavailable to living organisms. Large quantities of trace elements are released into the environments by anthropogenic activities - for example, industrial processes, manufacturing, and agricultural amendments.
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The main threats to human health from heavy metals are associated with exposure to lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic. These metals have been extensively studied and their effects on human health regularly reviewed by international bodies such as the WHO. Heavy metals have been used by humans for thousands of years. Although several adverse health effects of heavy metals have been known for a long time, exposure to heavy metals continues, and is even increasing in some parts of the world, in particular in less developed countries, though emissions have declined in most developed countries over the last 100 years. Cadmium compounds are currently mainly used in re-chargeable nickel-cadmium batteries. Cadmium emissions have increased dramatically during the 20th century, one reason being that cadmium-containing products are rarely re-cycled, but often dumped together with household waste. Cigarette smoking is a major source of cadmium exposure. In non-smokers, food is the most important source of cadmium exposure. Recent data indicate that adverse health effects of cadmium exposure may occur at lower exposure levels than previously anticipated, primarily in the form of kidney damage but possibly also bone effects and fractures. Many individuals in Europe already exceed these exposure levels and the margin is very narrow for large groups. Therefore, measures should be taken to reduce cadmium exposure in the general population in order to minimize the risk of adverse health effects. The general population is primarily exposed to mercury via food, fish being a major source of methyl mercury exposure, and dental amalgam. The general population does not face a significant health risk from methyl mercury, although certain groups with high fish consumption may attain blood levels associated with a low risk of neurological damage to adults. Since there is a risk to the fetus in particular, pregnant women should avoid a high intake of certain fish, such as shark, swordfish and tuna; fish (such as pike, walleye and bass) taken from polluted fresh waters should especially be avoided. There has been a debate on the safety of dental amalgams and claims have been made that mercury from amalgam may cause a variety of diseases. However, there are no studies so far that have been able to show any associations between amalgam fillings and ill health. The general population is exposed to lead from air and food in roughly equal proportions. During the last century, lead emissions to ambient air have caused considerable pollution, mainly due to lead emissions from petrol. Children are particularly susceptible to lead exposure due to high gastrointestinal uptake and the permeable blood-brain barrier. Blood levels in children should be reduced below the levels so far considered acceptable, recent data indicating that there may be neurotoxic effects of lead at lower levels of exposure than previously anticipated. Although lead in petrol has dramatically decreased over the last decades, thereby reducing environmental exposure, phasing out any remaining uses of lead additives in motor fuels should be encouraged. The use of lead-based paints should be abandoned, and lead should not be used in food containers. In particular, the public should be aware of glazed food containers, which may leach lead into food. Exposure to arsenic is mainly via intake of food and drinking water, food being the most important source in most populations. Long-term exposure to arsenic in drinking-water is mainly related to increased risks of skin cancer, but also some other cancers, as well as other skin lesions such as hyperkeratosis and pigmentation changes. Occupational exposure to arsenic, primarily by inhalation, is causally associated with lung cancer. Clear exposure-response relationships and high risks have been observed.
Article
Many rural villages in Eastern Europe are severely impacted by aeolian smelter dust/deposits. Commonly, elemental studies in Romania have suffered from limited sampling numbers (n = 5–10) and/or incomplete di-gestion offering only semi-total quantification of elements using traditional, laboratory-based techniques. These approaches are simply inadequate for evaluating potentially hazardous soils and their spatial extent, particularly at urban/rural interfaces of variable land use. Portable x-ray fluorescence (PXRF) spectroscopy can accurately quantify contamination rapidly, in-situ with a wide dynamic range and little to no sample preparation for analysis of regulated elements (e.g., As, Cd, Cu, Mn, Pb, V, Zn) and other common soil elements such as Ca, Fe, K, Rb, Sr, Ti, and Zr. A contemporary PXRF spectrometer was used to scan 61 soil samples across multiple land use types in urban/rural interfaces on-site. Each site was georeferenced with elemental data inputted into a geo-graphic information system for high resolution kriging interpolation. These models were superimposed over modern aerial imagery to evaluate the extent of pollution for each government-regulated element with simulta-neous consideration and quantification of spatial variability in naturally occurring soil elements. Pb exceeded governmental action limits across 100% of the area, while V, Mn, Cu, and Zn were exceeded in 2.2, 2.1, 39.6, and 9.8% of the area. Furthermore, many regulated elements were closely correlated to natural soil elements. In short, georeferenced PXRF data proved a powerful new tool for on-site assessment of contaminated soils; one which has rarely been utilized in Eastern Europe to date.
Article
Soil pollution in agricultural lands poses a serious threat to food safety, and suggests the need for consolidated methods providing advisory indications for soil management and crop production. In this work, the three-step extraction procedure developed by the EU Measurement and Testing Programme and two soil-to-plant transfer factors (relative to total and bioavailable concentration of elements in soil) were applied on polluted agricultural soils from southern Italy to obtain information on the retention mechanisms of metals in soils and on their level of translocation to edible vegetables. The study was carried out in the Sarno river plain of Campania, an area affected by severe environmental degradation potentially impacting the health of those consuming locally produced vegetables. Soil samples were collected in 36 locations along the two main rivers flowing into the plain. In 11 sites, lettuce plants were collected at the normal stage of consumption. According to Italian environmental law governing residential soils, and on the basis of soil background reference values for the study area, we found diffuse pollution by Be, Sn and Tl, of geogenic origin, Cr and Cu from anthropogenic sources such as tanneries and intensive agriculture, and more limited pollution by Pb, Zn and V. It was found that metals polluting soils as a result of human activities were mainly associated to residual, oxidizable and reducible phases, relatively immobile and only potentially bioavailable to plants. By contrast, the essential elements Zn and Cu showed a tendency to become more readily mobile and bioavailable as their total content in soil increased and were more easily transported to the edible parts of lettuce than other pollutants. According to our results, current soil pollution in the studied area does not affect the proportion of metals taken up by lettuce plants and there is a limited health risk incurred.
Article
Soils from urban areas often contain enhanced pseudo-total levels of potentially toxic elements (PTEs). Considering the expanding tendency of urban agricultural practices it is necessary to understand if these contaminants are available for plant uptake and if they pose risks to animal and human health. This study showed that estimates of Daily Intakes (DIs) of Cu, Pb and Zn for grazing animals were above animal Acceptable Daily Intakes (ADIs) at specific sites under the influence of an airport, an oil refinery and near highways with high traffic rates in the “Grande Porto” urban area (Portugal). These results suggest that there is a potential for dietary transfer of contaminants associated with the ingestion of both contaminated soil and feed by cows and sheep at unacceptably high concentrations. Furthermore, results showed that 40% of variability of ryegrass shoot contents of Cu, Pb and Ni; 60% for Ba; 70% for Zn; and 80% for Cd can be significantly (p < 0.01) explained by the variability of the corresponding chemical available pools in soils. Since the chemical available pools of PTEs in urban soils were rather low when compared with the corresponding pseudo-total pools (median 0.1–5%) and even when compared with the corresponding reactive pools it is advised to perform further research on the conditions and time span for the limited availability of PTEs in urban soils, and to determine under which conditions PTEs on reactive forms may become available.
Article
Rats were exposed intraperitoneally (3 times a week up to 20 injections) to either Cadmium and Lead salts in doses equivalent to their 0.05 LD50 separately or combined in the same or halved doses. Toxic effects were assessed by more than 40 functional, biochemical and morphometric indices. We analyzed the results obtained aiming at determination of the type of combined toxicity using either common sense considerations based on descriptive statistics or two mathematical models based (a) on ANOVA and (b) on Mathematical Theory of Experimental Design, which correspond, respectively, to the widely recognised paradigms of effect additivity and dose additivity. Nevertheless, these approaches have led us unanimously to the following conclusions: (1) the above paradigms are virtually interchangeable and should be regarded as different methods of modelling the combined toxicity rather than as reflecting fundamentally differing processes; (2) within both models there exist not merely three traditionally used types of combined toxicity (additivity, subadditivity and superadditivity) but at least 10 variants of it depending on exactly which effect is considered and on its level, as well as on the dose levels and their ratio.
Article
This study has attempted to establish an analysis method through validation against heavy metals in the body (Pb, Cd and Hg) using ICP-MS and Gold amalgamation and find out the relevance between heavy metal and Alzheimer's disease after analyzing the distribution of heavy metal concentration (Pb, Cd and Hg) and correlations between a control group and Alzheimer's disease group. In this study, Pb and Cd levels in the blood and serum were validation using ICP-MS. For analysis of Hg levels in the blood and serum, the gold amalgamation-based 'Direct Mercury Analyzer' has been used. According to an analysis on the heavy metal concentration (Pb, Cd and Hg concentration) in the blood, Cd concentration was high in the Alzheimer's disease group. In the serum, on the contrary, Pb and Hg were high in the Alzheimer's disease group. For analysis of correlations between heavy metal levels in the blood and serum and Alzheimer's disease, t-test has been performed. Even though correlations were observed between the blood lead levels and Alzheimer's disease, they were statistically insignificant because the concentration was higher in a control group. No significance was found in Cd and Hg. In the serum, on the other hand, no statistical significance was found between the heavy metal (Pb, Cd and Hg) and Alzheimer's disease. In this study, no statistical significance was observed between heavy metal and decrease in cognitive intelligence. However, it appears that a further study needs to be performed because the results of the conventional studies were inconsistent.
Article
Environmental exposure to heavy metals is a well-known risk factor for cancers. To evaluate potential health risks of heavy metals (Cr, Cd, Pb, As and Hg) and Se in cultivated topsoil and grains, we investigated the concentrations of Hg, As and Se using atomic fluorescence spectrometry and Cr, Cd and Pb using inductive coupled plasma emission spectrometry (ICP-MS). We also analyzed human cancer tissues for heavy metals. Potential health risks for local residents were evaluated by calculating the hazard index (HI) and the total carcinogenic risk (TCR) for soil heavy metals and the target hazard quotient (THQ) and the carcinogenic risk (CR) for grain heavy metals. A bioconcentration factor (BCF) was applied to quantify the bioaccumulation of heavy metals. Our results demonstrated that the mean concentrations of heavy metals in soil were all within the safety limits set by FAO/WHO and Chinese regulations; however, the mean concentrations of Cr and Hg in grain exceeded the safety limits. HI and TCR for soil heavy metals were all within acceptable levels, but the THQ for four grain heavy metals exceeded the target value of 1 (Cr, 2.64; Pb, 1.41; As, 1.24; Hg, 1.07; Cd, 0.39). The grain CR for Cr, Pb and As exceeded the accepted risk level of 10(-6). BCF values indicated that the bioaccumulation capacity decreased in the following sequence: Hg>Se>Cd>Cr>Pb>As. We also observed statistically significant correlations of topsoil Pb concentration with human gastric cancer and grain Hg with human liver cancer. Therefore, long-term low dose exposure of heavy metals may play a key role in tumorigenesis, and it may not be necessary to accumulate a high concentration of heavy metals in the human body for those metals to induce tumorigenesis.
Article
Zlatna, Romania is the site of longtime mining/smelting operations which have resulted in widespread metal pollution of the entire area. Previous studies have documented the contamination using traditional methods involving soil sample collection, digestion, and quantification via inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy or atomic absorption. However, field portable X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (PXRF) can accurately quantify contamination in-situ, in seconds. A PXRF spectrometer was used to scan 69 soil samples in Zlatna across multiple land use types. Each site was georeferenced with data inputted into a geographic information system for high resolution spatial interpolations. These models were laid over contemporary aerial imagery to evaluate the extent of pollution on an individual elemental basis. Pb, As, Co, Cu, and Cd exceeded governmental action limits in >50% of the sites scanned. The use of georeferenced PXRF data offers a powerful new tool for in-situ assessment of contaminated soils.