Occurrence and cycling of trace elements in ultramafic soils and their impacts on human health: A critical review

Vithanage, Meththika and Kumarathilaka, Prasanna and Oze, Christopher and Karunatilake, Suniti and Seneviratne, Mihiri and Hseu, Zeng-Yei and Gunarathne, Viraj and Dassanayake, Maheshi and Ok, Yong Sik and Rinklebe, Jörg (2019) Occurrence and cycling of trace elements in ultramafic soils and their impacts on human health: A critical review. Environment International, 131 (104974). pp. 1-17. ISSN 0160-4120

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Abstract

The transformation of trace metals (TMs) in natural environmental systems has created significant concerns in recent decades. Ultramafic environments lead to potential risks to the agricultural products and, subsequently, to human health. This unique review presents geochemistry of ultramafic soils, TM fractionation (i.e. sequential and single extraction techniques), TM uptake and accumulation mechanisms of ultramafic flora, and ultramafic associated health risks to human and agricultural crops. Ultramafic soils contain high levels of TMs (i.e. Cr, Ni, Mn, and Co) and have a low Ca:Mg ratio together with deficiencies in essential macronutrients required for the growth of crops. Even though a higher portion of TMs bind with the residual fraction of ultramafic soils, environmental changes (i.e. natural or anthropogenic) may increase the levels of TMs in the bioavailable or extractable fractions of ultramafic soils. Extremophile plants that have evolved to thrive in ultramafic soils present clear examples of evolutionary adaptations to TM resistance. The release of TMs into water sources and accumulation in food crops in and around ultramafic localities increases health risks for humans. Therefore, more focused investigations need to be implemented to understand the mechanisms related to the mobility and bioavailability of TMs in different ultramafic environments. Research gaps and directions for future studies are also discussed in this review. Lastly, we consider the importance of characterizing terrestrial ultramafic soil and its effect on crop plants in the context of multi-decadal plans by NASA and other space agencies to establish human colonies on Mars.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published version made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivatives 4.0 International license.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (1 July 2013 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (1 July 2013 -)
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2019 04:55
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2019 04:55
Uncontrolled Keywords: Soil contamination; Geochemistry; Trace elements; Bioaccumulation; Translocation; Extremophytes
Fields of Research : 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070102 Agricultural Land Planning
05 Environmental Sciences > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050304 Soil Chemistry (excl. Carbon Sequestration Science)
04 Earth Sciences > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040604 Natural Hazards
04 Earth Sciences > 0402 Geochemistry > 040201 Exploration Geochemistry
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management
04 Earth Sciences > 0403 Geology > 040304 Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050206 Environmental Monitoring
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9610 Natural Hazards > 961003 Natural Hazards in Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Environments
D Environment > 96 Environment > 9610 Natural Hazards > 961007 Natural Hazards in Mining Environments
C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920405 Environmental Health
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
B Economic Development > 84 Mineral Resources (excl. Energy Resources) > 8401 Mineral Exploration > 840199 Mineral Exploration not elsewhere classified
D Environment > 96 Environment > 9610 Natural Hazards > 961005 Natural Hazards in Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Environments
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970104 Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences
D Environment > 96 Environment > 9614 Soils > 961404 Mining Soils
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2019.104974
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/36952

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