Human health risk from arsenical pesticide contaminated soils: A long-term greenhouse study

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Department of Biological Sciences


Arsenic (As) bioaccessibility is an important factor in estimating human health risk. Bioaccessibility of As in soils is primarily dependent on As adsorption, which varies with residence time. This study evaluated the effect of soil aging on potential lifetime cancer risk associated with chronic exposure to As contaminated soils. Four soils, chosen based on their differences in As reactivity, were amended with two arsenical pesticides - sodium arsenate, and dimethylarsinic acid (DMA) at two rates (675 and 1500mgkg-1). Rice was used as the test crop. Soil was sampled immediately after spiking, after 6 months, 1 year, and 3 years. Bioaccessible and total soil As concentrations were used to calculate lifetime excess cancer risk (ECR), which decreased significantly with soil-pesticide equilibration time. Immokalee soil, with the least As adsorption capacity, showed the highest decrease in ECR after 6 months resulting in values lower than the USEPA's cancer risk range of 1×10-4 to 1×10-6. For all other soils, the ECR was much higher than the target range even after 3 years. In the absence of significant changes in As bioaccessibility with time, the total soil As concentration more directly influenced the changes in ECR values with soil aging.

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© 2012 Elsevier B.V. Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2012.10.027

Publication Title

Journal of Hazardous Materials