Assessment of ground water quality and associated health risk through heavy metals contamination due to municipal solid waste landfilling practices in Mardan, Pakistan

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Research Paper 01/06/2019
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Assessment of ground water quality and associated health risk through heavy metals contamination due to municipal solid waste landfilling practices in Mardan, Pakistan

Muhammad Israr, Hizbullah Khan, Said Akbar Khan, Nida Gul, Muhammad Suleman Bacha, Rahat Ullah Khan, Muhammad Mussadiq
J. Bio. Env. Sci.14( 6), 320-328, June 2019.
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This study was conducted in urban region of district Mardan. Pakistan is among the world arid regions and it is facing scarcity of fresh water sources. Groundwater is the major source of drinking water in the country and therefore, its quality protection and sustainability matters a lot. In the study area locals were using municipal solid waste (MSW) as fill material for leveling their residential lands from the last 10 to 20 years. Total 20 groundwater samples were collected from the area. 13 samples were collected from MSW landfill sites and 07 samples from safe zones. These samples were assessed for selected heavy metals (HMs) of Chromium (Cr), Lead (Pb), Cadmium (Cd), Copper (Cu), Zinc (Zn), Iron (Fe), Nickel (Ni) and Manganese (Mn). Among HMs Cr, Cd and Ni were found above the NEQS-Pak and WHO permissible limits. For health risk assessment (HRA), an average daily dose (ADD) and health quotient (HQ) were calculated. Highest ADD was found for Zn (3.74×10-3) while highest average HQ was recorded for Ni (2.20×10-2). Combined HI of all the HMs was found ≤1 which indicated potential health risk to the locals. Except Pb-Cd (r =0.537) and Zn-Mn (r=0.681) no specific correlation was observed among HMs. This behavior can be attributed to the input of HMs from anthropogenic sources rather than their natural sources. The study concluded that using MSW as fill material has deteriorating impacts on groundwater quality and ultimately pose threats to human health. Therefore, this practice should be stopped.


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