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Heavy Metal Bioaccumulation in Rice from a High Geological Background Area in Guizhou Province, China

State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guiyang 550081, China
Guizhou Provincial Key Laboratory of Mountain Environment Information System and Ecological Environment Protection, Guizhou Normal University, Guiyang 550001, China
Guangxi Key Laboratory of Environmental Pollution Control Theory and Technology, Guilin University of Technology, Guilin 541004, China
Guizhou Institute of Prataculture, Guizhou Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Guiyang 550006, China
College of Resource and Environmental Engineering, Guizhou University, Guiyang 550025, Guizhou, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2281;
Received: 23 August 2018 / Revised: 12 October 2018 / Accepted: 15 October 2018 / Published: 17 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Field of Human Health and Environment)
PDF [3419 KB, uploaded 17 October 2018]


Long-term exposure to high levels of heavy metals can lead to a variety of diseases. In recent years, researchers have paid more attention to mining and smelting areas, industrial areas, and so forth, but they have neglected to report on high geological background areas where heavy metal levels are higher than China’s soil environmental quality standard (GB 15618-2018). In our study, an investigation of heavy metals in paddy soil and rice in the high background area of Guizhou Province was carried out, and the factors affecting the absorption and utilization of heavy metals in rice were discussed. A total of 52 paddy soil and rice samples throughout the high geological background of Guizhou, China, were collected, and concentration(s) of arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, and zinc were analyzed. The arithmetic mean values of paddy soil heavy metals were 19.7 ± 17.1, 0.577 ± 0.690, 40.5 ± 32.8, 35.5 ± 32.0, and 135 ± 128 mg kg−1 for arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, and zinc, respectively. Most of the heavy metals’ contents in the soil were above the soil standard value. The highest content of cadmium was 15.5 times that of the soil standard value. The concentration(s) of arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, and zinc in rice were 0.09 ± 0.03, 0.01 ± 0.01, 1.57 ± 0.69, 0.002 ± 0.003, and 11.56 ± 2.61 mg kg−1, respectively, which are all lower than those specified by Chinese food safety standards (GB 2762-2017). The results and discussion show that the bioavailability, pH, and soil organic matter are important factors that affect the absorption of heavy metals by rice. According to the consumption of rice in Guizhou Province, the risk of eating rice was considered. The results revealed that the hazard quotient is ranked in the order of copper > zinc > cadmium > arsenic > lead, and there is little risk of eating rice in the high geological background area of Guizhou Province. These findings provide impetus for the revision and improvement of this Chinese soil environmental quality standard. View Full-Text
Keywords: high geological background; heavy metals; paddy rice; bioaccumulation high geological background; heavy metals; paddy rice; bioaccumulation

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Kong, X.; Liu, T.; Yu, Z.; Chen, Z.; Lei, D.; Wang, Z.; Zhang, H.; Li, Q.; Zhang, S. Heavy Metal Bioaccumulation in Rice from a High Geological Background Area in Guizhou Province, China. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 2281.

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