DOI: 10.1101/459644Nov 1, 2018Paper

The effect of heavy metal contamination on human and animal health in the vicinity of a zinc smelter

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Xiaoyun ShenKangning Xiong


A diagnosis of heavy metal poisoning in sheep living on pasture in the vicinity of a zinc smelter was made based on laboratory tests and clinical signs in livestock in the Wumeng mountain area of China. Heavy metal contamination has generated serious harm to the health of local farmers after passing through the food chain. The levels of copper, zinc, cadmium, and lead in irrigation water, soil, forages, and animal tissues were measured in samples taken from within the vicinity of a zinc smelter and control samples. Heavy metal concentrations in foods (corn, rice, and wheat) and human tissues (blood and hair) from local farmers living in affected areas and controls were also determined. Hematological values were determined in human and animal samples. The copper, zinc, cadmium, and lead concentrations in irrigation water, soils, and forages were markedly higher than the levels in healthy pastures. Cadmium and lead concentrations were 177.82 and 16.61 times greater in forages than controls, respectively, and 68.71 and 15.66 times greater in soils than controls, respectively. Heavy metal concentrations in food (corn, rice, and wheat) in affected areas were markedly higher than in the control samples. Cadmium and lead concentration...Continue Reading

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