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Rice, a primary food source in many countries of the world accumulate potentially harmful elements which pose a significant health hazard to consumers. The current study aimed to evaluate potentially toxic and mineral elements in both paddy soils and rice grains associated with allied health risks in Malakand, Pakistan. Rice plants with intact root soil were randomly collected from paddy fields and analyzed for mineral and potentially toxic elements (PTEs) through inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP‒OES). Through deterministic and probabilistic risk assessment models, the daily intake of PTEs with allied health risks from consumption of rice were estimated for children and adults. The results of soil pH (< 8.5) and electrical conductivity (EC > 400 μs/cm), indicated slightly saline nature. The mean phosphorus concentration of 291.50 (mg/kg) in soil samples exceeded FAO/WHO permissible limits. The normalized variation matrix of soil pH with respect to Ni (0.05), Ca (0.05), EC (0.08), and Mg (0.09), indicated significant influence of pH on PTEs mobility. In rice grains, the mean concentrations (mg/kg) of Mg (463.81), Al (70.40), As (1.23), Cr (12.53), Cu (36.07), Fe (144.32), Mn (13.89), and Ni (1.60) exceeded FAO/WHO safety limits. The transfer factor >1 for K, Cu, P and Zn indicated bioavailability and transfer of these elements from soil to rice grains. Monte Carlo simulations of hazard index >1 for Cr, Zn, As, and Cu with certainties of 89.93% and 90.17%, indicated significant noncarcinogenic risks for children and adults from rice consumption. The total carcinogenic risk (TCR) for adults and children exceeded the USEPA acceptable limits of 1×10


Human health risk assessment, Malakand, Monte Carlo simulation, Potential toxic elements, Rice contamination, Transfer factor



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