PM10-BOUND HEAVY METAL CONCENTRATIONS AND THE HUMAN HEALTH RISK ASSESSMENT FROM ONE OF THE WORLD’S LARGEST MULTIPLE OPEN-PIT COAL MINES
Free (open access)
79 - 88
HELI A. ARREGOCÉS, ROBERTO R. ROJANO, GLORIA RESTREPO
This study was designed to evaluate the atmospheric total particulate matter (PM10) concentrations, PM10-bound heavy metal concentrations and the human health risk assessment from one of the world’s largest multiple open-pit coal mines (Region La Guajira and Cesar) located in northern Colombia, during 2012–2016. The results showed overall average PM10 concentrations were observed at site CeS (42.86 ± 27.25), followed by CaS (40.98 ± 16.25 µg/m3), PrO (38.00 ± 14.08 µg/m3), BaR (34.79 ± 14.23 µg/m3), PaT (34.49 ± 13.09 µg/m3) and SyS (23.39 ± 12.64 µg/m3). The annual PM10 concentration measured exceeded WHO standards at all sites during 2012–2016, and by as much as 136% and 105% at site CeS (47.24 µg/m3) and CaS (41.12 µg/m3) in 2013, respectively. Cr, Cu, and Zn are of highest concentrations compared with other heavy metals. The highest overall Cr average concentrations were observed at PrO station (4.34 ng/m3, CI95% 4.12–4.56 ng/m3), followed by CeS station (4.03 ng/m3, CI95% 3.83–4.23 ng/m3). The carcinogenic risks due to long-term exposure are found in an acceptable range and below those given by USEPA. The individual lifetime incidence risk values of Cr exceeded 1×10–6 in most areas. The health risk assessment found that the population in the mining region of La Guajira and Cesar is at increased lifetime risk of experiencing cancer because of exposure to PM10-bound heavy metal concentrations.
PM10 concentrations, heavy metals, human health risk, open-pit coal mines