Human health risk of heavy metal contamination in groundwater and source apportionment

Zafar Iqbal, Farhat Abbas, A. Mahmood, M. Ibrahim, M. Gul, M. Yamin, B. Aslam, M. Imtiaz, N. N. Elahi, T. I. Qureshi, Ghulam Zakir Hassan Sial

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The local community residing in vicinity of cities in Pakistan utilizes groundwater for drinking purpose. The peri-urban areas of all cities are under wastewater irrigation, a common practice for vegetable cultivation. The study ascertained the human health risk from consuming heavy metals contaminated groundwater in vicinity of Multan city, Pakistan. Groundwater samples (n = 60) from six irrigation sites (four wastewater outlets, one canal and one tube-well water locations) were collected and analyzed for cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni) and lead (Pb) by inductively coupled
plasma-optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES). Samples of wastewater and soils from each site were also analyzed for the same metals for multivariate statistical analysis. Total target health quotient (TTHQ) of groundwater under wastewater irrigation fields ranged from 1.02 to 2.98 indicating carcinogenic risk to exposed population. TTHQ of groundwater under canal water site was 1.02 in children aged 4–15 years and < 1.0 for adults indicating carcinogenic health risk for child group and safe for adults. The groundwater under tube-well water irrigated site was health risk free. Multivariate statistical analyses
showed the wastewater and soil as sources of groundwater contamination across all agricultural farms. The use of treated wastewater for irrigation may save the quality of groundwater. We suggest to monitor and evaluate the groundwater quality continuously to take preventive measures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Science and Technology
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Aug 2021

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