The pollution from large-scale manganese mining and associated industries in Xiangtan (south Central China), has created a significant burden on the local environment. The proximity of mining and other industrial activity to the local population is of concern and impact of past industry on the food chain was evaluated by the assessment of common food groups (rice, soybean, sweet potato), and the associated soil and water in the region. We focused on specific PTEs Mn, Pb, Cd, Cr, Cu, and Zn associated with industrial activity. Identifying the distribution of pollution, the potential significance of total health Index (THI) for local people and its spatial distribution. The study area showed severe contamination for Mn, followed by Cd and Pb, while other potentially toxic elements (PTEs) showed relatively light levels of pollution. When analyzing the impact on crops exceeding the tolerance limit, the dominant PTEs were Mn, Cd and Pb, with lower significance for Zn, Cu and Cr. The average THI value for adults is 4.63, while for children, is 5.17, greatly exceeding the recommended limit (HQ>1), confirming a significant health risk. In the spatial distribution of the THI the region shows strong association with the transport and industrial processing infrastructure. Long term management needs to consider remediation aligned to specific industrial operations and enhance contamination control measures of on-going activity.
- Manganese mining area
- Potentially toxic elements
- Health risk assessment
- Spatial distribution
- Total health risk
Hursthouse, Andrew (Recipient), 12 Dec 2017
Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)