Health Risk Assessment and Source Analysis of Toxic Element Pollution In Cultivated Soils of the Weigan and Kuqa Rivers Oasis in Xinjiang, China
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College of Geographic Science and Tourism, Xinjiang Normal University, Urumqi 830054, China
Xinjiang Arid Lake Environment and Resources Laboratory, Urumqi 830054, China
Submission date: 2023-02-27
Final revision date: 2023-04-09
Acceptance date: 2023-05-15
Online publication date: 2023-06-26
Publication date: 2023-07-21
Corresponding author
Xuemei Wang   

Xinjiang Arid Lake Environment and Resources Laboratory, China
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2023;32(4):3501-3514
Given the importance of exploration on current toxic element contamination in dryland soils and its health risks for preventing toxic element pollution, this paper studied the Weigan and Kuqa rivers oasis in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, China, and investigated 98 plow soil samples of different land-use types, to explore the accumulation characteristics of risk element (As) and five heavy metals (Cr, Cd, Zn, Pb, Cu) in soils. Specifically, pollution index (Pi), Nemerow composite pollution index (Pn), and geo-accumulation index (Igeo) were used to understand the spatial distribution of six elements; while correlation, principal component, and cluster analysis to evaluate the health risk. Results show the average concentrations (mg·kg-1) of six elements in the cultivated layer: Zn (71.09), Cr (52.24), Cu (24.74), Pb (15.57), As (11.67), and Cd (0.15), among which As, Cr, Cd, and Zn were higher than the background value of Xinjiang soils by 1.04, 1.06, 1.25, and 1.03 times, respectively. Such pollution mainly troubles the eastern and northeastern parts, i.e., around the city of Kuqa, and the pollution indices from large to small were Cd, Cr, As, Zn, Cu, and Pb. Besides, despite the absence of non-carcinogenic risk, cancer risk is above the acceptable level, with children being the more vulnerable group. The non-carcinogenic risk can be largely explained by Zn and the carcinogenic risk by Cr, so the toxic element pollution mostly results from the petroleum processing industry and vehicular traffic, followed by input from other anthropogenic sources and natural soil formation.
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