Pollution Characteristics and Risk Assessments of Mercury in the Soil of the Main Urban Regions in a Typical Chinese Industrial City: Changchun
Zhaojun Wang 1,2,3
Lei Wang 1,2
Xu Li 1
Zhanhui Tang 1,2,3
Gang Zhang 1,3,4
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School of Environment, Northeast Normal University, Changchun Jilin, China
State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Wetland Ecology and Vegetation Restoration, Changchun Jilin, China
Key Laboratory of Vegetation Ecology, Ministry of Education, Northeast Normal University, Changchun Jilin, China
Institute of Grassland Science, Northeast Normal University, Changchun Jilin, China
Submission date: 2020-10-02
Final revision date: 2020-11-30
Acceptance date: 2020-11-30
Online publication date: 2021-05-12
Publication date: 2021-07-07
Corresponding author
Gang Zhang   

School of Environment, Northeast Normal University, China
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2021;30(4):3829-3841
As a typical industrial city in northeastern China, the environmental conditions of the soil in Changchun City face high ecological risks. In the present study, in order to more fully understand the characteristics of the soil mercury content and its related health risks in the main urban areas of Changchun City, the pollution degrees were evaluated using the data of land accumulation indexes (Igeo), potential ecological risk indexes (Er), and health risk assessment methods. The mercury content (TSM) levels in the urban soil, along with the atmospheric mercury content (TGM) levels, were analyzed. The results showed that the mean value of the mercury content in the soil in Changchun City was 0.0569±0.103 mg/kg, and the concentration range was between 0.0052 and 1.3240 mg/kg. It was found that the mercury content levels in nearly 70% of the soil samples exceeded the background value of soil (0.040 mg/kg). In addition, the atmospheric mercury concentration at 0 cm was determined to be directly related to soil mercury content (P = 0.000532). In addition, the atmospheric mercury content of 0 cm was observed to be positively correlated with the distribution of the atmospheric mercury content at 100 cm (P = 0.000524). The mercury content levels in the soil were found to vary from different directions, with the mercury content found to be the highest in the southeastern section of the city. However, there were no significant differences in the mercury content of any direction. The Igeo showed that 25.0% of the sample points were polluted. The unsanitary areas were mainly concentrated in the southwestern and southeastern sections of the city. The mercury content levels in the soil of Changchun City ranged from pollution-free to moderate pollution levels overall. The Er indicated that the potential ecological risk level was high in the northwestern and southeastern sections of Changchun City. However, the soil mercury levels in Changchun City presented a low level of ecological risk overall. The average values of the non-carcinogenic risks (HQ) and the total non-carcinogenic risk assessment indexes (HI) in all directions within Changchun City were determined to be far less than 1. Therefore, it was concluded that the soil mercury levels were not potentially harmful to human health.
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