A meta-analysis of heavy metals pollution in farmland and urban soils in China over the past 20 years


Zhiguang Han , Xuehong Yuan , Nandong Xue

DOI:10.1016/j.jes.2020.08.013

Received April 01, 2020,Revised , Accepted August 16, 2020, Available online September 03, 2020

Volume 101,2021,Pages 217-226

A total of 713 research papers about field monitor experiments of heavy metals in farmland and urban soils in China, published from 2000 to 2019, were obtained. A meta-analysis was conducted to evaluate the level of China's heavy metal pollution in soils, mainly focusing on eight heavy metals. It was found that the average concentrations of cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), mercury (Hg), chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni), and arsenic (As) in China were 0.19, 30.74, 85.86, 25.81, 0.074, 67.37, 27.77 and 8.89 mg/kg, respectively. Compared with the background value (0.097 mg/kg), the Cd content showed a twofold (0.19 mg/kg) rise in farmland soils and a threefold (0.29 mg/kg) rise in urban soils. The decreasing order of the mean Igeo was Cd (1.77) > Pb (0.62) > Zn (0.60) > Cu (0.58) > Hg (0.57) > Cr (0.54) > Ni (0.47) > As (0.28). Nearly 33.54% and 44.65% of sites in farmland and urban soils were polluted with Cd. The average concentrations of eight heavy metals were not sensitive change in recent two decades in farmland and urban soils. The average Pn values for urban (2.52) and farmland (2.15) soils showed that heavy metal pollution in urban soils was more serious than that in farmland, and the middle Yangtze River regions, where industrial activity dominates, were the most polluted. The meta-analysis comprehensively evaluated the current pollution situation of soil heavy metal, and provided important basis for soil management and environment prevention in China.

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