Characterization of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in vegetables near industrial areas of Shanghai, China: Sources, exposure, and cancer risk.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Dietary consumption of contaminated vegetables may contribute to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) exposure in humans; however, this exposure pathway has not been examined thoroughly. This study aims to characterize the concentrations of PAHs in six types of vegetables grown near industrial facilities in Shanghai, China. We analyzed 16 individual PAHs on the US EPA priority list, and the total concentration in vegetables ranged from 65.7 to 458.0 ng g-1 in the following order: leafy vegetables (romaine lettuce, Chinese cabbage and Shanghai green cabbage) > stem vegetables (lettuce) > seed and pod vegetables (broad bean) > rhizome vegetables (daikon). Vegetable species, wind direction, and local anthropogenic emissions were determinants of PAH concentrations in the edible part of the vegetable. Using isomer ratios and principal component analysis, PAHs in the vegetables were determined to be mainly from coal and wood combustion. The sources of PAHs in the six types of vegetables varied. Daily ingestion of PAHs due to dietary consumption of these vegetables ranged from 0.71 to 14.06 ng d-1 kg-1, with contributions from Chinese cabbage > broad bean > romaine > Shanghai green cabbage > lettuce > daikon. The daily intake doses adjusted by body weight in children were higher than those in teenagers and adults. Moreover, in adults, higher concentrations of PAHs were found in females than in males. For individuals of different age and gender, the incremental lifetime cancer risks (ILCRs) from consuming these six vegetables ranged from 4.47 × 10-7 to 6.39 × 10-5. Most were higher than the acceptable risk level of 1 × 10-6. Our findings demonstrate that planting vegetables near industrial facilities may pose potential cancer risks to those who consume the vegetables.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Jia, J; Bi, C; Zhang, J; Jin, X; Chen, Z

Published Date

  • October 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 241 /

Start / End Page

  • 750 - 758

PubMed ID

  • 29908499

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-6424

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0269-7491

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.envpol.2018.06.002


  • eng