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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1025;

Risk Assessment of Metals in Urban Soils from a Typical Industrial City, Suzhou, Eastern China

State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, School of the Environment, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, Jiangsu, China
Suzhou Institute of USTC, Suzhou 215123, Jiangsu, China
Institute for Advanced Study, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 August 2017 / Revised: 2 September 2017 / Accepted: 5 September 2017 / Published: 7 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Collection Environmental Risk Assessment)
PDF [3310 KB, uploaded 7 September 2017]


Risk of metals in urban soils is less studied, compared to that in other types of soils, hindering accurate assessment of human exposure to metals. In this study, the concentrations of five metals (As, Cd, Cr, Pb, and Hg) were analyzed in 167 surface soil samples collected from Suzhou city and their potential ecological and human health risks were assessed. The mean concentrations of As, Cd, Pb, and Hg except Cr, were higher than the background values in Jiangsu Province. Metal concentrations varied among districts, where sites of high contamination showed a punctate distribution. Principal components and correlation analyses revealed that As, Pb, and Cd could originate from the same sources. The geo-accumulation (Igeo) and potential ecological risk indices (RI) were calculated and the relatively low values of Igeo (<0) and RI (<150) suggested generally low ecological risk. The noncarcinogenic risks of the metals were relatively low for Suzhou residents (i.e., average hazard index or HI: 0.1199 for adults and 0.5935 for children, <1), while the total carcinogenic risks (TCR) of Cr and As were acceptable (TCR in the range of 1.0 × 10−6 to 1.0 × 10−4). Children faced a higher threat than adults. Results of Monte-Carlo simulations were lower than those obtained from models using deterministic parameters. Of all the uncertain parameters, the ingestion rate and body weight were the most sensitive for adults and children, respectively, while As was an important factor for both. The results as well as the factors controlling risks of metals could help better understand the risks of metals in urban soils of industrial cities in China. View Full-Text
Keywords: metals; urban soil; ecological risk; health risk metals; urban soil; ecological risk; health risk

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Wang, G.; Liu, H.-Q.; Gong, Y.; Wei, Y.; Miao, A.-J.; Yang, L.-Y.; Zhong, H. Risk Assessment of Metals in Urban Soils from a Typical Industrial City, Suzhou, Eastern China. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 1025.

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