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Arsenic in agricultural soils across China: Distribution pattern, accumulation trend, influencing factors, and risk assessment

Zhou, Yuting and Niu, Lili and Liu, Kai and Yin, Shanshan and Liu, Weiping (2018) Arsenic in agricultural soils across China: Distribution pattern, accumulation trend, influencing factors, and risk assessment. Science of the Total Environment, 616-617 . pp. 156-163. ISSN 0048-9697. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.10.232.

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Arsenic (As) in the environment is of concern due to its strong toxicity and high risks to the ecosystems and humans. In this study, soil samples across China collected in 2011 and 2016 were used to determine the concentrations of arsenic in arable soils. The median concentration of arsenic in surface soils was 9.7 mg/kg. The inventory of arsenic in the Chinese agricultural surface soils was estimated to be 3.7 × 10^6 tons. In general, arsenic contamination was found higher in South and Northeast China than in other regions, with means of 18.7 and 15.8 mg/kg, respectively. Vertically, arsenic concentrations were higher in top layer (0–15 cm) soils (median of 9.8 mg/kg) and decreased with soil depth (medians of 8.9 mg/kg at 15–30 cm and 8.0 mg/kg at 30–45 cm). By comparing with published data, an increasing accumulation trend over the past decades was found and this enhancement was positively related with the long-term application of fertilizers in agricultural practice, especially phosphate fertilizers. Soil pH was found to affect the movement of arsenic in soil, and high-pH conditions enhanced the pool of arsenic. The ecological risk assessment revealed that arsenic in Chinese agricultural soil posed a low risk to the ecosystem. Regarding human health, the mean hazard indices (HIs) of arsenic were below 1, suggesting an absence of non-carcinogenic risks. In addition, the cancer risks of arsenic in all soil samples were within the acceptable range (below 1 × 10^(−4)), indicating low to very low risks to the exposed population. Findings from this study are valuable to provide effective management options for risk avoidance and to control the persistent accumulation of arsenic in the agriculture sector across the world.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Liu, Kai0000-0002-2109-8196
Yin, Shanshan0000-0001-8859-9852
Liu, Weiping0000-0002-1173-892X
Additional Information:© 2017 Elsevier B.V. Received 19 September 2017, Revised 19 October 2017, Accepted 22 October 2017, Available online 4 November 2017. The authors acknowledge financial supports from the Key Program Funds (Grant No. 21427815) and the Funds for Creative Research Group (Grant No. 21621005) of the National Natural Science Foundation of China.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Natural Science Foundation of China21427815
National Natural Science Foundation of China21621005
Subject Keywords:Arsenic; Agricultural soil; Distribution pattern; Accumulation trend; Ecological and human health risk
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20171108-074933993
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Official Citation:Yuting Zhou, Lili Niu, Kai Liu, Shanshan Yin, Weiping Liu, Arsenic in agricultural soils across China: Distribution pattern, accumulation trend, influencing factors, and risk assessment, Science of The Total Environment, Volumes 616–617, March 2018, Pages 156-163, ISSN 0048-9697,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:83053
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:08 Nov 2017 18:06
Last Modified:19 Aug 2022 21:29

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