Do trace metal(loid)s in road soils pose health risks to tourists? A case of a highly-visited national park in China

Zhengqiu Fan , Jingling Huang , Yuying Wu , Yanyao Li , Jiaxun Sun , Yujing Xie


Received October 11, 2020,Revised , Accepted February 28, 2021, Available online March 19, 2021

Volume 34,2022,Pages 61-74

Nowadays, more people tend to spend their recreational time in large national parks, and trace metal(loid)s in soils have attracted long-term attention due to their possible harm to human health. To investigate the pollution levels, potential sources and health risks of trace metal(loid)s in road soils, a total of eight trace metal(loid)s (including As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn and Hg) from 47 soil samples along roads were studied in the Huangshan National Park in Southeast China. The results showed that the concentrations of As, Cd, Pb, Zn and Hg appeared different degrees of pollution compared with their corresponding background values. According to the pollution indices, Hg and Cd were recognized as significant pollutants presenting moderate to high ecological risk. Combining principal component analysis and positive matrix factorization model, the results showed that traffic, industrial, agricultural and natural sources were the potential origins of trace metal(loid)s in this area, with contribution rates of 39.93%, 25.92%, 10.53% and 23.62%, respectively. Non-carcinogenic risks were all negligible, while the carcinogenic risk of As was higher than the limit (1 × 10−6). Moreover, children were more susceptible to trace metal(loid)s by ingestion which appeared to be a more important exposure pathway than dermal contact and inhalation. The contribution rates of different sources to non-carcinogenic risks and carcinogenic risks were similar among children and adults, while traffic and industrial sources have a significant impact on health risks. This study will give more insights to control the environmental risks of trace metal(loid)s in national parks.

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