Bioassessment of Heavy Metals in Wheat Crop from Soil and Dust in a Coal Mining Area

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 School of Environment Science and Spatial Informatics, China University of Mining and Technology, No.1 Daxue Road, Xuzhou, Jiangsu, 221116, P.R. China.

2 Department of Precision Machinery and Instrumentation, University of Science and Technology of China, 96 Jinzhai Road, Hefei, Anhui, 230026, P.C. China. Department of Farm Machinery and Power, University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Jail Road, Faisalabad, Punjab, 38000, Pakistan.


Coal mining and related industry can increase heavy metals (HMs) concentrations in soil, atmosphere and wheat, thereby posing metal-associated human health risk via food ingestion.  In this study, 58 samples of soil, wheat, and dust were collected from Xuzhou coal mine eastern China, six kinds of HMs Pb, Cd, Cu, Zn, As and Cr were studied for their spatial distribution in wheat, enrichment in different wheat organs (roots, stem leaf, glumes, and grains), pollution level and potential human health risks. Results show that the spatial distribution of HMs in wheat grains were likely to coal while dissimilar to soil.  Most of heavy metals enrichment in wheat organs retained in glume and stem leaf after roots, and followed by grains, indicating that HMs was accumulated more from atmospheric dust as compared to other sources. Meanwhile, 71% of wheat grains were contaminated by HMs comprehensively in Xuzhou coal mine area. The potential health risk indicated that ingestion of food was the main exposure route causing non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic risk for inhabitants. This study provides basic information to control HMs enrichment from atmospheric dust and human health risk management policies in the mining area.


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