Health risk assessment of chromium contamination in the nearby population of mining plants, situated at Balochistan, Pakistan

Chandio T. A. , Khan M. N. , Muhammad M. T. , YALÇINKAYA Ö. , Turan E., KAYİŞ A. F.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND POLLUTION RESEARCH, 2021 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier

  • Yayın Türü: Makale / Tam Makale
  • Cilt numarası:
  • Basım Tarihi: 2021
  • Doi Numarası: 10.1007/s11356-020-11649-4


The main objective of this work was to investigate the root cause(s) of the various diseases in the local population, living in the proximity of chromium mining area. The analytical work was done on the samples of drinking water, soil and human blood, collected from the study area. The chosen study area is known as Muslim Bagh, located in the Balochistan province of Pakistan. The area is well-known for chromite hub. The hub comprises about 325 open-cast and underground mines, 100 dumping sites and 11 chrome beneficiation plants. The presented investigation is the first report of its nature on the contamination of heavy metals (HM) in the samples of drinking water and soil of the study area. The traces of different HM were also found in the random blood samples of human population in the study area. The amount of Co, Ni, Pb, As and Cr in the soil samples of the study area was obtained in the range of 990 x 10(3)-1837 x 10(3), 1 x 10(3)-11 x 10(3), 1 x 10(3)-15 x 10(3), 84 x 10(3)-187 x 10(3) and 6.9 x 10(6)-19.5 x 10(6) (mu g/kg ppb), respectively, whereas the samples of drinking water of the area found were 199-997 Co, 40-1370 Ni, 30-740 Pb, 47-890 As and 1990-13,530 (mu g/kg ppb) of Cr. The obtained data of the physiochemical properties and the amount of HM show that the available drinking water sources are unfit for human consumption, mainly because of the chromium amount. Questionnaire analysis of the local population was also revealed that there was no awareness or feeling about metal poisoning in the targeted people and had no idea about the metal contaminations and diseases caused by this. Human health risk assessment for both carcinogenic and non-carcinogens concludes that the children and adults of the area are at high risk of several diseases and disorders.