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Saturday, October 04, 2014

Environmental distribution and health impacts of As and Pb in crops and soils near Vinto smelter, Oruro, Bolivia.

Today, we are featuring Vol. 11, No 4 of the International Journal of Environment Science and Technology, which includes "Environmental distribution and health impacts of As and Pb in crops and soils near Vinto smelter, Oruro, Bolivia" by Rötting et al. 

The Vinto Sb- Sn smelter in Oruro, Bolivia has been linked to arsenic and heavy metal pollution in air, soils, the residual waters, and has been found in the hair and urine of local workers who reside there. However, tests have not been carried out on an individual basis on crop concentration. For this reason, Rötting et al. examine this issue through this study. 

Alfalfa, onions, and carrots (separated into roots and shoots) were analyzed, as well as corresponding samples to determine a measurement of As and Pb. The study was conducted to gain better insight as to the environmental distribution and potential health impacts of these toxic elements, as well as to compare them to other measurements taken from other sites around the world. The resulting measurements of both As and Pb taken from the samples indicated that the concentration exceeded FAO/WHO, UK or Chilean limits by 1.5–2 orders of magnitude. In addition, the health risk indices when measuring carrots were 286, and a high measurement of 651 was found in onions, showing that there was an extremely high potential health risk when consumed. Both As and Pb soil- plant transfer factors are similar to other contaminated sites around the world, however, the daily intake and health risk index is greatly higher in the Vinto area. This is because of the very high concentrations of As found within the soil. 

Arsenic and lead concentrations suggests there are increasing trends toward VMC. In future surveys, greater numbers of soil and crops should be analyzed to determine overall health impacts associated with As and Pb soil and crops pollution. Additionally, analyses should be carried out to determine anthropogenic and geogenic sources of As and Pb found within the soils and crops in this area.  

For these articles and more from this issue, click here.



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