Relative contribution of rice and fish consumption to bioaccessibility-corrected health risks for urban residents in eastern China

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Environment International


Metal, Bioavailability, Fish, Rice, Risk Assessment, Dietary Exposure


There are global concerns about dietary exposure to metal(loid)s in foods. However, little is known about the relative contribution of rice versus fish to multiple metal(loid) exposure for the general population, especially in Asia where rice and fish are major food sources. We compared relative contributions of rice and fish consumption to multi-metal(loid) exposure on the city-scale (Nanjing) and province-scale in China. The effects of ingestion rate, metal(loid) level, and bioaccessibility were examined to calculate modeled risk from Cu, Zn, total As (TAs), inorganic As (iAs), Se, Cd, Pb, and methylmercury (MeHg). Metal(loid) levels in rice and fish samples collected from Nanjing City were generally low, except iAs. Metal(loid) bioaccessibilities in fish were higher than those in rice, except Se. Calculated carcinogenic risks induced by iAs intake (indicated by increased lifetime cancer risk, ILCR) were above the acceptable level (1 0 􀀀 4) in Nanjing City (median: 3 × 10􀀀 4 for female and 4 × 10􀀀 4 for male) and nine provinces (1.4 × 10􀀀 4 to 5.9 × 10􀀀 4) in China. Rice consumption accounted for 85.0% to 99.8% of carcinogenic risk. The non-carcinogenic hazard quotients (HQ) for single metals and hazard index (HI) for multi-metal exposure were < 1 in all cases, indicating of their slight non-carcinogen health effects associated. In Guangdong and Jiangsu provinces, results showed that rice and fish intake contributed similarly to the HI (i.e., 42.6% vs 57.4% in Guangdong and 54.6% vs 45.4% in Jiangsu). Sensitivity analysis indicated that carcinogenic risk was most sensitive to rice ingestion rate and rice iAs levels, while non-carcinogenic hazard (i.e., HQ and HI) was most sensitive to ingestion rate of fish and rice, and Cu concentration in rice. Our results suggest that rice is more important than fish for human dietary metal(loid) exposure risk in China, and carcinogenic risk from iAs exposure in rice requires particular attention.


© 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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