Toxic element contents and associated multi-medium health risk assessment in an area under continuous agricultural use

Beglaryan M.,

Pipoyan D.,

Tepanosyan G.,

Sahakyan L



Soils and contaminated plants are in the group of significant environmental pathways of human exposure to toxic elements (TEs). This study aimed to assess the soil-to-plant transfer of TEs (Pb, As, Cd, Hg), as well as the plausible health risks via different exposure pathways in the Armavir region of Armenia. The contents of TEs were determined in soil, fruit and vegetable samples using X-ray fluorescence and atomic absorption spectroscopy, respectively, and the soil-to-plant transfer of TEs and induced chronic non-carcinogenic risks were evaluated. The detected TE contents did not exceed the available national and international regulatory levels. Moreover, the evaluated soil-to-plant transfer of these TEs was negligible. The obtained results indicated the absence of a single-element non-carcinogenic risk via one single ingestion pathway. Meanwhile, in the case of multi-food and multi-soil ingestion, the combined non-carcinogenic risk estimates for Pb and As exceeded the precautionary level of 0.1 indicating a low health risk. Similarly, the multi-element hazard index (HI) showed a low level of non-carcinogenic risk through a multi-pathway ingestion. Thus, the outcomes highlighted that there was a need for precautionary measures to prevent plausible health issues for the adult population in Armavir.