miércoles, 7 de febrero de 2018

Spatial gradient of human health risk from exposure to trace elements and radioactive pollutants in soils at the Puchuncaví-Ventanas industrial complex, Chile

The Punchuncaví Valley in central Chile, heavily affected by a range of anthropogenic emissions from a localized industrial complex, has been studied as a model environment for evaluating the spatial gradient of human health risk, which is mainly caused by trace elemental pollutants in soil. Soil elemental profiles in 121 samples from five selected locations representing different degrees of impact from the industrial source were used for human risk estimation. Distance to source dependent cumulative non-carcinogenic hazard indexes above 1 for children (max 4.4 – min 1.5) was found in the study area, ingestion being the most relevant risk pathway. The significance of health risk differences within the study area was confirmed by statistical analysis (ANOVA and HCA) of individual hazard index values at the five sampling locations. As was the dominant factor causing unacceptable carcinogenic risk levels for children (<10−4) at the two sampling locations which are closer to the industrial complex, whereas the risk was just in the tolerable range (10−6 – 10−4) for children and adults in the rest of the sampling locations at the study area. Furthermore, we assessed gamma-ray radiation external hazard indexes and annual effective dose rate from the natural radioactivity elements (226Ra, 232Th and 40K) levels in the surface soils of the study area. The highest average values for the specific activity of 232Th (31 Bq kg−1), 40K (615 Bq kg− 1), and 226Ra (25 Bq kg−1) are lower than limit recommended by OECD, so no significant radioactive risk was detected within the study area. In addition, no significant variability of radioactive risk was observed among sampling locations. Read more

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