Chemosphere ( IF 5.778 ) Pub Date : 2020-10-17 , DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.128673 Yuefang Chen; Jinyan Qu; Shanwei Sun; Qingyun Shi; Huimin Feng; Yuqi Zhang; Suzhen Cao
Heavy metal pollution and hazards are a global major concern. Heavy metals can be directly or indirectly harmful to humans through ingestion, inhalation, and deraml. According to the literature survey, cadmium (Cd) total exposure assessment and health risk assessment were performed in a population group from South China. Results showed that the Cd contents in PM2.5 and vegetables exceeded national standard limits. The same sources of Cd pollution contributed to different media; the main sources were artificial industrial activities such as electroplating, mining and smelting. The average daily dose of Cd via ingestion exceeded the provisional tolerable monthly intake proposed by the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA). Multimedia exposure via all three pathways followed the order 0-5-year-old children (3.26×10-3 mg·kg-1·d-1)>6-17-year-old children (1.46×10-3 mg·kg-1·d-1)>adults (1.18×10-3 mg·kg-1·d-1). The exposure from point source pollution was quite different from the results for nonpoint sources. Ingestion was the exposure pathway that contributes the largest proportion of multipathway and multimedia total exposure, accounting for over 99% of the total exposure in different populations. Staple foods, vegetables and meat were the three main exposure media for ingestion. The hazard quotients of multipathway and multimedia exposure to Cd in different populations were 5.57, 2.87 and 2.26, respectively, all at unacceptable risk levels. This study highlights the importance of multipathway and multimedia in the health risk assessment of heavy metal exposure in South China, and provides risk management measures to reduce noncarcinogenic health risks.