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A GIS-Aided Assessment of the Health Hazards of Cadmium in Farm Soils in Central Taiwan

Division of Health Service Research and Preventive Medicine, Institute of Population Health Sciences, National Health Research Institutes, No. 35, Keyan Road, Zhunan Town, Miaoli County 350, Taiwan
Department of Risk Management, China Medical University, No.91, Hsueh-Shih Road, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(9), 3759-3763;
Received: 5 September 2011 / Accepted: 15 September 2011 / Published: 20 September 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geostatistics in Environmental Pollution and Risk Assessment)
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A geostatistical method was developed to examine the correlation, or lack of it, between the levels of cadmium (Cd) detected in farm soils and those detected in the human specimens collected from residents around the contaminated areas in Changhua County where cadmium contamination of staple rice has been documented. We used the Taiwan EPA environment data in 2002 and human data which were generated by the National Health Research Institutes during 2003–2005. Kriging interpolation methods were used to determine soil Cd concentrations. A Zonal statistical function was performed to assess the individual exposure. Soil Cd levels and tissue Cd levels in residents were analyzed for contamination hotspots and other areas to determine correlation between the two variables. Three Cd contamination hotspots were identified, in which no correlation was found between soil Cd levels and tissue Cd levels in residents. Our results demonstrate how GIS spatial modeling technique can be used to estimate distribution of pollutants in an area using a limited number of data points. Results indicated no association between the soil contamination and the exposure of residents to Cd, suggesting that both the soils and the residents are receptors of Cd as a pollutant from as yet unidentified sources. View Full-Text
Keywords: kriging; cadmium; soil pollution; health hazard kriging; cadmium; soil pollution; health hazard
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Chiang, P.-H.; Chan, T.-C.; Hsieh, D.P.H. A GIS-Aided Assessment of the Health Hazards of Cadmium in Farm Soils in Central Taiwan. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8, 3759-3763.

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