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      Potential ecological risk assessment of heavy metals (trace elements) in coastal soils of southwest Iran


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          Heavy metal pollution has become one of the most important threats that can endanger the health of animals, the environment, and humans. The present study was performed to investigate the potential ecological risk (PER) of heavy metals [zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), cobalt (Co), molybdenum (Mo), manganese (Mn), and selenium (Se)] in the coastal soils of southwest Iran in 2019. The samples were collected from six soil sites and three depth intervals (0–15, 15–30, and 30–45 cm) among bare and vegetated coastal soils. The soil samples to study the soil properties (soil grain size, pH, EC, and soil organic carbon) and metal contamination were taken from soil (36 samples), water (6 samples), and plants (24 samples). The soil ecological risk (ER), the pollution load index (PLI), contamination degree (Cdeg), modified contamination degree (mCdeg) for heavy metal contamination in the soil, and enrichment factor (EF index) indicate the origin of metals entering the environment, and hence these parameters were investigated. The results of this study showed that the levels of Zn, Cu, Co, Mn, Se, and Mo were in the range of low-risk contaminants in this region. According to the results of the study, the risk index (RI) for metals was in the range of 1.296–3.845, which is much lower than 150, and therefore the ecological risk potential calculated in this study was in the low-risk category for toxic elements. Based on the results, it was found that agricultural, industrial, and human activities played an effective role in the accumulation of Zn, Cu, Co, Se, and Mo in the soil. In addition, the main source of Mn metal is believed to be natural due to geological activities in the region.

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          Most cited references90

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          An ecological risk index for aquatic pollution control.a sedimentological approach

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            Microbial heavy-metal resistance.

            D. Nies (1999)
            We are just beginning to understand the metabolism of heavy metals and to use their metabolic functions in biotechnology, although heavy metals comprise the major part of the elements in the periodic table. Because they can form complex compounds, some heavy metal ions are essential trace elements, but, essential or not, most heavy metals are toxic at higher concentrations. This review describes the workings of known metal-resistance systems in microorganisms. After an account of the basic principles of homoeostasis for all heavy-metal ions, the transport of the 17 most important (heavy metal) elements is compared.
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              Microbial resistance to metals in the environment.

              Many microorganisms demonstrate resistance to metals in water, soil and industrial waste. Genes located on chromosomes, plasmids, or transposons encode specific resistance to a variety of metal ions. Some metals, such as cobalt, copper, nickel, serve as micronutrients and are used for redox processes, to stabilize molecules through electrostatic interactions, as components of various enzymes, and for regulation of osmotic pressure. Most metals are nonessential, have no nutrient value, and are potentially toxic to microorganisms. These toxic metals interact with essential cellular components through covalent and ionic bonding. At high levels, both essential and nonessential metals can damage cell membranes, alter enzyme specificity, disrupt cellular functions, and damage the structure of DNA. Microorganisms have adapted to the presence of both nutrient and nonessential metals by developing a variety of resistance mechanisms. Six metal resistance mechanisms exist: exclusion by permeability barrier, intra- and extra-cellular sequestration, active transport efflux pumps, enzymatic detoxification, and reduction in the sensitivity of cellular targets to metal ions. The understanding of how microorganisms resist metals can provide insight into strategies for their detoxification or removal from the environment. Copyright 2000 Academic Press.

                Author and article information

                Front Public Health
                Front Public Health
                Front. Public Health
                Frontiers in Public Health
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                07 September 2022
                : 10
                [1] 1Department of Soil Science, Ahvaz Branch, Islamic Azad University , Ahvaz, Iran
                [2] 2Department of Agriculture and Plant Breeding, Sanandaj Branch, Islamic Azad University , Sanandaj, Iran
                Author notes

                Edited by: Xiao Chen, Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, China

                Reviewed by: Antoaneta Ene, Dunarea de Jos University, Romania; Vinod Kumar, Government Degree College, Ramban, India

                This article was submitted to Environmental Health and Exposome, a section of the journal Frontiers in Public Health

                Copyright © 2022 Hamid, Payandeh, Karimi Nezhad and Saadati.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 8, Equations: 7, References: 91, Pages: 18, Words: 11761
                Public Health
                Original Research

                pollution load index (pi),toxic elements,iran,ecological risk index (eri),heavy metals


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