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Health Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in Surface Water near a Uranium Tailing Pond in Jiangxi Province, South China

Liu He (), Bai Gao (), Xin Luo (), Jimmy Jiao (), Huanhuan Qin (), Chunyan Zhang () and Yihui Dong ()
Additional contact information
Liu He: College of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering, East China University of Technology, Nanchang 330013, China
Bai Gao: College of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering, East China University of Technology, Nanchang 330013, China
Xin Luo: Department of Earth Sciences, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 999077, China
Jimmy Jiao: Department of Earth Sciences, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 999077, China
Huanhuan Qin: College of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering, East China University of Technology, Nanchang 330013, China
Chunyan Zhang: College of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering, East China University of Technology, Nanchang 330013, China
Yihui Dong: College of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering, East China University of Technology, Nanchang 330013, China

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 10, issue 4, 1-12

Abstract: This study was performed in the Linshui River Watershed to explore the contents of heavy metals in river water, their species, and health risks. The test results show that the contents of arsenic (As), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), uranium (U), and thorium (Th) are relatively low and below the limit of class III of the environmental quality standards for surface water. According to the analysis through PHREEQC (version 2.18), the main species of As, Cr, Cu, U, and Th are H 2 AsO 4 − and HAsO 4 2− , HCrO 4 − , Cr 2 O 7 2− and CrO 4 2− , Cu 2+ , CuSO 4 and CuCO 3 , UO 2 CO 3 , (UO 2 ) 2 CO 3 (OH) 3 − , and UO 2 (CO 3 ) 2 2− , Th(OH) 4 , Th(OH) 2 2+ , and Th(OH) 3 + , respectively. Health risk assessment demonstrates that the average total risk value is 5.68 × 10 −5 year −1 , which is higher than the maximum acceptable level of 5.05 × 10 −5 year −1 recommended by International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP). Moreover, the average of total radionuclide risk (U and Th) is calculated to be 7.85 × 10 −9 year −1 , which is five orders of magnitude lower than the standard value of 5.0 × 10 −4 year −1 . The health risk of chemical non-carcinogenic (Cu) is lower than that of chemical carcinogenic (As and Cr). Human health risk values descend in the order of Cr, As, U, Th, and Cu. Therefore, As and Cr in the study area are labeled as the priority pollutants.

Keywords: Linshui River; uranium mining; heavy metals; health risk assessment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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