Surface and Groundwater Pollution: The Invisible, Creeping Threat to Human Health

Hammad Ahmed Shah, Muhammad Sheraz, Afed Ullah Khan, Fayaz Ahmad Khan, Liaqat Ali Shah, Jehanzeb Khan, Ashfaq Khan, Zahoor Khan
2020 Civil and Environmental Engineering  
AbstractThis study reports pollution source apportionment of surface waters and human health risk assessment based on 18 physicochemical and traces elements from 24 water quality monitoring sites for surface and groundwater around the two trans-boundary rivers of Pakistan: The Ravi and Sutlej. The principal component analysis identified 6 principal components (76.98 % cumulative variance) which are mainly caused by untreated industrial effluents, intense agricultural activities, and irrigation
more » ... ailwater discharges. For all dissolved trace elements in surface waters, health hazard indices (HI) and hazard quotients (HQ) through ingestion and dermal contact are < 1 except As and Cr through ingestion only (for both adults and children). For adults and children, the HQingestion and HI values for As, Mn, Cu (for children only) and As, Fe, Mn (for children only) are > 1, indicating that As, Mn, Fe, and Cu are the most important pollutants causing chronic risks among the selected trace elements in both shallow and deep groundwater respectively. HQingestion, HQdermal, and HI values are higher for children than that of adults which shows the high susceptibility of children to these dissolved trace elements. The carcinogenic indices for the entire surface water elements exceed 10−6 through dermal and ingestion pathways suggesting carcinogenic health risk to the surrounding community. Hence, to protect human health, wastewater treatment plants and best management practices should be practiced to control point source and nonpoint source pollution respectively in the understudied area.
doi:10.2478/cee-2020-0016 fatcat:rukdxet6wbfqnnunm5wgxwiwka