The concentration and health risk assessment of potentially toxic elements in agricultural soils of the Aleshtar plain, Lorestan Province


Department of Geology, Faculty of Earth Sciences, Shahrood University of Technology, Shahrood, Iran


The aim of the present study was to assess the health risk imposed by toxic metals present in agricultural soils of the Aleshtar plain. The average concentration of Cd, As, Sb, Zn, Ni, Fe, Mn, Cr, Ag, Co, Th and U in the studied samples were higher than corresponding values in world average soils. Based on geochemical indices calculations, the samples are highly polluted by Ag, Sb, As and Ni. Health risk assessment indicates that the hazard quotient for As via ingestion for children is higher than 1; therefore, there were adverse non-carcinogenic health effects of arsenic for this age group. The results showed that carcinogenic risk imposed by arsenic via ingestion for both adult and children age groups. Cr is carcinogenic for children via dermal contact and ingestion; whereas it is carcinogenic for adults through ingestion. The intake of Ni via ingestion by adults and via dermal contact by children would be associated with carcinogenic risk. The results indicated that Cd is carcinogenic for children through the ingestion route. The obtained results in this study show that agricultural activity has considerably increased the concentration of As, Cr, Ni and Sb in the Aleshtar agricultural soils. Regarding the probable negative effects of metal accumulation on public health status, the management of agricultural practice in the study area is of crucial importance.


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