Accumulation of mercury and cadmium in rice from paddy soil near a mercury mine

Wai Chin LI, Yun OUYANG, Zhi Hong YE

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31 Citations (Scopus)


Paddy soil and rice (Oryza sativa L.) in the Wanshan mining area in Guizhou Province, China, have been contaminated by toxic trace metals such as cadmium (Cd) and mercury (Hg). The present study examined correlations between the types and physicochemical parameters of the soil and the contents of trace metals and the different forms of Hg in rice. The health risks of consuming contaminated rice from the Wanshan mining area were also assessed. Sequential extraction procedures were used to investigate the chemical behavior of Hg in the soil. The results showed that Hg and Cd were the most abundant trace metals in the Wanshan mining area. The toxic methylmercury (MeHg) content was substantial in brown rice, and the total amounts of total Hg (THg), diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid–Hg, and water-soluble Hg varied in the rhizosphere and non-rhizosphere soils. An antagonistic interaction between Mn in brown rice, straw, and husk and MeHg in brown rice was also shown. An analysis of calculated dietary intake, target hazard quotients, and hazard indexes showed a potential risk of transferring Hg, MeHg, and Cd to humans when rice from the Wanshan mining area is consumed. Therefore, it must be concluded that consuming contaminated rice near the Wanshan mining area is a potential threat to human health. Copyright © 2014 SETAC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2438-2447
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Issue number11
Early online dateAug 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014


Li, W. C., Ouyang, Y., & Ye, Z. H. (2014). Accumulation of mercury and cadmium in rice from paddy soil near a mercury mine. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 33(11), 2438-2447.


  • Sequential extraction
  • Methylmercury
  • Pollution
  • Health risk assessment


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