Toxics. 2022 Jun 22;10(7):347. doi: 10.3390/toxics10070347.
Heavy metal (HM) contaminated soil can affect human health via ingestion of foodstuffs, inhalation of soil dust, and skin contact of soil. This study estimates the level of some heavy metals in soils of industrial areas, and their exposures to human body via dietary intake of vegetables and other pathways. Mean concentrations of Cr, Fe, Cu, Zn, As and Pb in the studied soil were found to be 61.27, 27,274, 42.36, 9.77, 28.08 and 13.69 mg/kg, respectively, while in vegetables the respective values were 0.53, 119.59, 9.76, 7.14, 1.34 and 2.69 mg/kg. Multivariate statistical analysis revealed that Fe, Cu, Zn, and Pb originated from lithogenic sources, while Cr and As are derived from anthropogenic sources. A moderate enrichment was noted by Cr, As, and Pb in the entire sampling site, indicating a progressive depletion of soil quality. The bioaccumulation factor (BCF) value for all the vegetables was recorded as BCF < 1; however, the metal pollution index (MPI) stipulates moderately high value of heavy metal accumulation in the vegetable samples. Hazard Index (HI) of >0.1 was estimated for adults but >1 for children by direct soil exposure, whereas HI < 1 for both children and adults via dietary intake of vegetables. Estimated Total carcinogenic risk (TCR) value due to soil exposure showed safe for adults but unsafe for children, while both the population groups were found to be safe via food consumption. Children are found more vulnerable receptors than adults, and health risks (carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic) via direct soil exposure proved unsafe. Overall, this study can be used as a reference for similar types of studies to evaluate heavy metal contaminated soil impact on the population of Bangladesh and other countries as well.