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Department of Biological Sciences


Northern wild rice is of great dietary and cultural importance to the Native American population in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Millions of tons of mine tailings were discharged into Lake Superior and other inland lakes during the copper mining boom in the early 20th century in this area. This includes L’Anse Bay, located within the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) reservation. Since wild rice restoration is being encouraged by the KBIC, we investigated the distribution of toxic metals in sediments, water, and wild rice and their potential impact on human health from two locations. Sand Point sloughs on L’Anse Bay and a nearby inland lake, Lake Plumbago, were sampled for sediment, water, and wild rice, and the potential human health risk from dietary exposure to toxic metals in wild rice was assessed. Arsenic stood out as the element that had the highest bioaccumulation at both locations. Risk calculations showed that the hazard index (HI) value for wild rice seeds from both sites was high. Data indicate both carcinogenic and noncarcinogenic risks for As from wild rice in Sand Point sloughs and Lake Plumbago, and carcinogenic risks for Cd and Cr at Lake Plumbago.

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© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// 4.0/). Publisher’s version of record:

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Applied Sciences (Switzerland)

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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