IJERPH, Vol. 18, Pages 10151: Collaborative Assessment and Health Risk of Heavy Metals in Soils and Tea Leaves in the Southwest Region of China
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph181910151
The collaborative assessment and health risk evaluation of heavy metals (HMs) enrichment in soils and tea leaves are crucial to guarantee consumer safety. However, in high soil HM geochemical background areas superimposed by human activities, the health risk associated with HMs in soil–tea systems is not clear. This study assessed the HMs concentration (i.e., chromium (Cr), cadmium (Cd), arsenic (As), and lead (Pb)) in tea leaves and their relationship with soil amounts in the southwest region of China to evaluate the associated health risk in adults. The results revealed that the average soil concentration of Cr was the highest (79.06 mg kg−1), followed by Pb (29.27 mg kg−1), As (14.87 mg kg−1), and Cd (0.18 mg kg−1). Approximately 0.71, 4.99, 7.36, and 10.21% of soil samples exceeded the threshold values (NY/T 853-2004) for Pb, Cr, As, and Cd, respectively. Furthermore, the average concentration of Pb, As, and Cd in tea leaves was below the corresponding residue limits, but Cr was above the allowed limits. Correlation analysis revealed that the Pb, Cr, As, and Cd amounts in tea leaves were positively correlated to their soil amounts (p &lt; 0.01) with an R2 of 0.203 **, 0.074 **, 0.036 **, and 0.090 **, respectively. Additionally, approximately 40.38% of the samples were found to be contaminated. Furthermore, spatial distribution statistical analysis revealed that Lancang was moderately contaminated, while Yingjiang, Zhenkang, Yongde, Zhenyuan, Lüchun, Jingdong, Ximeng, and Menglian were slightly contaminated areas. The target hazard quotients (THQ; health risk assessment) of Pb, Cr, As, and Cd and the hazard index (HI) of all the counties were below unity, suggesting unlikely health risks from tea consumption.
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