Health risk assessment of drinking arsenic-containing groundwater in Hasilpur, Pakistan: effect of sampling area, depth, and source
Tabassum, RA, Shahid, M, Dumat, C, Niazi, NK, Khalid, S, Shah, NS, Imran, M & Khalid, S 2018, 'Health risk assessment of drinking arsenic-containing groundwater in Hasilpur, Pakistan: effect of sampling area, depth, and source', Environmental Science and Pollution Research International.
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Currently, several news channels and research publications have highlighted the dilemma of arsenic (As)-contaminated groundwater in Pakistan. However, there is lack of data regarding groundwater As content of various areas in Pakistan. The present study evaluated As contamination and associated health risks in previously unexplored groundwater of Hasilpur-Pakistan. Total of 61 groundwater samples were collected from different areas (rural and urban), sources (electric pump, hand pump, and tubewell) and depths (35-430 ft or 11-131 m). The water samples were analyzed for As level and other parameters such as pH, electrical conductivity, total dissolved solids, cations, and anions. It was found that 41% (25 out of 61) water samples contained As (≥ 5 μg/L). Out of 25 As-contaminated water samples, 13 water samples exceeded the permissible level of WHO (10 μg/L). High As contents have been found in tubewell samples and at high sampling depths (> 300 ft). The major As-contaminated groundwater in Hasilpur is found in urban areas. Furthermore, health risk and cancer risk due to As contamination were also assessed with respect to average daily dose (ADD), hazard quotient (HQ), and carcinogenic risk (CR). The values of HQ and CR of As in Hasilpur were up to 58 and 0.00231, respectively. Multivariate analysis revealed a positive correlation between groundwater As contents, pH, and depth in Hasilpur. The current study proposed the proper monitoring and management of well water in Hasilpur to minimize the As-associated health hazards.