Potentially toxic elements (PTEs) in crops, soil, and water near Xiangtan manganese mine, China: potential risk to health in the foodchain

Xin Luo, Bozhi Ren*, Andrew S. Hursthouse, Feng Jiang, Ren-jian Deng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
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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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1965-1976
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Geochemistry and Health
Early online date8 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2019


  • Manganese mining area
  • Potentially toxic elements
  • Health risk assessment
  • Spatial distribution
  • Total health risk


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