Health Risk Assessment Research on Heavy Metals Ingestion Through Groundwater Drinking Pathway for the Residents in Baotou, China
Drinking groundwater is a significant pathway for human exposure to heavy metals. To evaluate the health effect of some heavy metals ingestion through the groundwater drinking pathway, the authors collected 35 groundwater samples from the drinking water wells of local residents and the exploitation wells of waterworks in Baotou, China. The monitoring results indicate that the groundwater had been polluted by heavy metals in some regions of the study area. A health risk assessment model derived from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was used to determine the noncarcinogenic and carcinogenic effects to residents who drink groundwater. All the respondents in the study area were at potential risk of carcinogenic health effects from arsenic when using the lowest safe standard for carcinogenic risk (1E-06). The hazard quotient values for noncarcinogenic health risk of arsenic exceeded 1 in 14.3% of the sampling wells in the study area. The research results could provide baseline data for groundwater utilization and supervision in the Baotou plain area.
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Prepublished online November 2015. Final publication January/February 2016 (78.6).