Metal contamination from mining activity is of great concern because of potential health risks to the local inhabitants. In the present study, we investigated the levels of Cd, Cu, As, Pb, and Zn in environmental samples and foodstuffs grown in the vicinity of the mines in Goseong, Korea, and evaluated potential health risks among local residents. Soils near the mines exceeded the soil quality standard values of Cu, As, and Zn contamination. The concentrations of Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn in crop samples collected from the study area were significantly higher than those of the reference area. Some rice samples collected from the study area exceeded the maximum permissible level of 0.2 mg Cd/kg. The intake of rice was identified as a major contributor (≥75%) to the estimated daily intake among the residents. The average estimated daily intakes of metals were, however, below the provisional tolerable daily intake.
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