Health risks of potentially toxic trace elements in urban soils of Manaus city, Amazon, Brazil.


Ferreira MDS(1), Fontes MPF(2), Pacheco AA(2), Ker JC(2), Lima HN(3).
Author information:
(1)Department of Soil Science, Federal University of Viçosa, Viçosa, Minas Gerais, 36570-900, Brazil. [Email]
(2)Department of Soil Science, Federal University of Viçosa, Viçosa, Minas Gerais, 36570-900, Brazil.
(3)Department of Agricultural Engineering and Solos, Federal University of Amazonas, Manaus, Amazonas, 69080-900, Brazil.


The city of Manaus is the biggest industrial city of the north Brazilian region, and a haphazard urbanization process characterizes it. The continuous urbanization and industrialization processes have increased the levels of trace elements in the urban environment and have posed great threat on human health. It is, then, essential to assess the pollution levels and the potential risks of the trace elements presence in urban soils. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the status of trace elements soils pollution and their human health risks to the population of Manaus City. Twenty-two soil samples were collected from the surface layer (0-20 cm), and the contents of Ba, Cr, Mn, Zn, Co, Ni, Cu, Cd and Pb were analyzed. Results showed the predominance of kaolinite, gibbsite and goethite as the main minerals of the clay fraction. The trace elements contents were affected by both natural sources and anthropic activities such as industrial operations and vehicular emissions. The soil contamination assessment by Enrichment Factor showed the existence of eight samples classified as considerably contaminated and two samples classified as highly contaminated. Geoaccumulation index also showed the existence of eight samples exhibiting considerable contamination and one sample showing high contamination. The non-carcinogenic health risk was considered low (HI < 1) to both children and adults. However, the carcinogenic risk of Cd and Pb was higher than the safety limits (CRtotal > 1 × 10-6), indicating that the long exposure to contaminated soils increases the probability of children's cancer occurrence.