Levels of arsenic pollution in daily foodstuffs and soils and its associated human health risk in a town in Jiangsu Province, China

The development of industries in rural areas can aggravate the arsenic (As) contamination of the local environment, which may pose unacceptable health risks to the local residents. This study estimated the health risk posed by inorganic As (iAs) to residents via ingestion of soil, skin contact with soil and consumption of foodstuffs in a typical rural- industrial developed town in southern Jiangsu, China. The average concentrations of total As in soil, rice, fish, shrimp and crab, pork and eggs, vegetables and fruits were detected to be 10.367, 0.104mg/kg dw (dry weight), 0.050, 0.415, 0.011, 0.013 and 0.017mg/kg fw (fresh weight), respectively. All of these values are below the maximum allowable concentration in food and soil in China. The deterministic estimation results showed that the hazard quotient (HQ) and excess lifetime cancer risk (R) were 1.28 (0.78-2.31) and 2.38×10(-4) (2.71×10(-5)-5.09×10(-4)) for all age groups, respectively. Males in the age range of 2-29 years and females in the age range of 2-13 years and 18-29 years exhibited non-carcinogenic risk (HQ>1). Carcinogenic risk exceeded the acceptable level of 1×10(-)(5) for both genders at all ages. Furthermore, this risk rose with age. The probabilistic estimation results showed that about 28% of residents had non-carcinogenic risk due to over ingestion of iAs. The R value of 90% of residents was greater than 10(-)(5). The sensitivity analysis indicated that the cancer slope factor (SF), the ingestion rates of rice and the iAs concentration in rice were the most relevant variables affecting the assessment outcome. Based on these results, it is recommended that residents reduce their consumption of rice, though it should be noted that the assessment outcome has uncertainty due to estimating iAs from foodstuffs and not considering the bioaccessibility of iAs in foodstuffs. Nevertheless, measures like reducing industrial As emissions, forbidding the use of pesticides, fertilisers and sludge which contain As and optimising water management in rice paddy fields should be taken to mitigate the risks.

Authors: Jiang Y, Zeng X, Fan X, Chao S, Zhu M, Cao H. ;Full Source: Ecotoxicology & Environmental Safety. 2015 Aug 5;122:198-204. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2015.07.018. [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Epub ahead of print] ;[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]