Arsenic contamination and potential health risk implications at an abandoned tungsten mine, southern China

Chuan ping Liu, Chun ling Luo, Yun Gao, Fang bai Li, Lan wen Lin, Chang an Wu, Xiangdong Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

183 Citations (Scopus)


In an extensive environmental study, field samples, including soil, water, rice, vegetable, fish, human hair and urine, were collected at an abandoned tungsten mine in Shantou City, southern China. Results showed that arsenic (As) concentration in agricultural soils ranged from 3.5 to 935 mg kg-1with the mean value of 129 mg kg-1. In addition, As concentration reached up to 325 μg L-1in the groundwater, and the maximum As concentration in local food were 1.09, 2.38 and 0.60 mg kg-1for brown rice, vegetable and fish samples, respectively, suggesting the local water resource and food have been severely contaminated with As. Health impact monitoring data revealed that As concentrations in hair and urine samples were up to 2.92 mg kg-1and 164 μg L-1, respectively, indicating a potential health risk among the local residents. Effective measurements should be implemented to protect the local community from the As contamination in the environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)820-826
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2010


  • Abandoned mine
  • Arsenic
  • Contamination
  • Health risk
  • Soil-water-plant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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