Heavy Metals Pollution Characteristics and Health Risk Assessment of Farmland Soils and Agricultural Products in a Mining Area of Henan Province, China
Polish Journal of Environmental Studies
The development of mineral resources has promoted the rapid development of the social economy. However, mining and mineral processing are regarded as a primary source of heavy metals contamination in the environment due to activities of mineral excavation, ore transportation, smelting, and refining      . Among all mining wastes, tailings are a solid waste with especially high toxic heavy metals produced in the process of mining, mineral processing and smelting, which are
... , which are considered the greatest threat to ecological stability due Pol. Abstract This research focused on soil contamination and the health risks around a mining area in Henan Province of China. Heavy metals contents in farmland soils and agricultural products were analyzed. The results showed that the soils in the mining area had been polluted by heavy metals to different degrees, whereas the average concentrations of heavy metals in farmland soils had exceeded the background value of Henan Province. Cd was the main pollutant element in soils. Agricultural products grown on farmland near the mining area were heavily polluted by Cd and Pb and slightly polluted by Cr. Furthermore, the health risk to local inhabitants via food ingestion was assessed based on the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) health risk assessment model. The results showed that the local inhabitants experience high potential health risks by intake of Cd and Pb via consumption of these vegetables. Leafy vegetables had the highest health risks of all agricultural products, whether adults or children, suggesting high health risks by consuming the contaminated agricultural products. Moreover, because children were more sensitively affected by heavy metals from food ingestion, we should pay more attention to monitoring children's health in such areas.