With the development of industry and agriculture, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the agricultural sector have gradually increased to different degrees, leading to an escalation in environmental pollution. In turn, this escalation has presented a significant possibility of endangering agricultural practices on farmland
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With the development of industry and agriculture, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the agricultural sector have gradually increased to different degrees, leading to an escalation in environmental pollution. In turn, this escalation has presented a significant possibility of endangering agricultural practices on farmland and has had a serious impact on regional sustainable development. Therefore, a total of 117 samples of soil were gathered to research the pollution level, distribution, sources, and health risk of PAHs in Helan farmland soils. A reference was used for the identification and quantification of PAH content using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with an ultraviolet detector, and their spatial distribution was analyzed utilizing the Arc Geographic Information System (ArcGIS). The source of PAHs was analyzed by absolute principal component scores/multiple linear regression (APCS-MLR). The lifetime cancer risk increment model and Monte Carlo sensitivity analysis were used to assess the potential health hazards to humans associated with PAHs in soil. Within the current study area, PAHs were higher in the northwest. The results showed that the total content of PAHs in Helan farmland soil ranged from 17.82 to 1544.73 ng·g−1
with a mean of 408.18 ng·g−1
, which indicated the middle degree of pollution in farmland soil. The verification results of the APCS-MLR model showed that the correlation coefficient between the measured values and the predicted values ranged from 0.661 to 0.984, which suggested that the APCS-MLR model demonstrated favorable suitability for conducting source analysis of PAHs in the soil within the study region. Based on the contribution of PAHs from each source, the main sources of PAHs in Helan farmland soil were the combustion source (biomass, diesel, and natural gas combustion) and the transportation source (gasoline for vehicles and traffic exhaust emissions). The health risks’ estimation showed that PAHs in farmland soil did not have potential health risks for adults but represented a carcinogenic risk for children via the main exposure pathway of ingestion with the mean intake of 1.28 × 10−5
. Meanwhile, the carcinogenic risks (CRs) of dermal contact for the mean value of adults (9.32 × 10−7
) was found to be higher than that for children (3.18 × 10−8
). From the Monte Carlo simulation, the soil particle uptake rate was the most sensitive to the health risks of children and adults with risk probabilities of 26% and 52%, and the risk probabilities from body weight were −11% and −1%, whose negative value indicated that the increase in body weight could reduce the health risks to human. These findings could provide reference for the study of soil organic pollution in Helan farmland soil and contribute significantly to the preservation of the ecological environment, maintaining human health and safety, and promoting the sustainable development of regional farmland.