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Open AccessArticle

Distribution of Arsenic and Risk Assessment of Activities on Soccer Pitches Irrigated with Arsenic-Contaminated Water

IPICyT, Instituto Potosino de Investigacion Cientifica y Tecnologica, Division de Geociencias Aplicadas, Camino a la Presa San Jose No. 2055, Col. Lomas 4a Sec., San Luis Potosi 78216, SLP, Mexico
Departamento de Geología, Universidad de Sonora, Rosales y Encinas s/n, Col. Centro, Hermosillo 83000, Sonora, Mexico
School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure & Society, Institute for Infrastructure and Environment, Water Academy, Heriot-Watt University, EGIS 2.02A William Arrol Building, Scotland EH14 4AS, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(6), 1060;
Received: 6 February 2018 / Revised: 14 May 2018 / Accepted: 15 May 2018 / Published: 24 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Collection Environmental Risk Assessment)
PDF [21270 KB, uploaded 30 May 2018]


The aim of this research was to estimate the risk of human exposure to arsenic due to sporting activities in a private soccer club in Mexico, where arsenic-contaminated water was regularly used for irrigation. For this purpose, the total concentration in the topsoil was considered for risk assessment. This was accomplished through three main objectives: (1) measuring arsenic concentrations in irrigation water and irrigated soils, (2) determining arsenic spatial distribution in shallow soils with Geographical Information Systems (GIS) using geostatistical analysis, and (3) collecting field and survey data to develop a risk assessment calculation for soccer activities in the soccer club. The results showed that the average arsenic concentrations in shallow soils (138.1 mg/kg) were 6.2 times higher than the Mexican threshold for domestic soils (22 mg/kg). Furthermore, dermal contact between exposed users and contaminated soils accounted for a maximum carcinogenic risk value of 1.8 × 10−5, which is one order of magnitude higher than the recommended risk value, while arsenic concentrations in the irrigation water were higher (6 mg/L) than the WHO’s permissible threshold in drinking water, explaining the contamination of soils after irrigation. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first risk study regarding dermal contact with arsenic following regular grass irrigation with contaminated water in soccer pitches. View Full-Text
Keywords: arsenic; water; soccer fields; soil; irrigation; risk characterization arsenic; water; soccer fields; soil; irrigation; risk characterization

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Martínez-Villegas, N.; Hernández, A.; Meza-Figueroa, D.; Sen Gupta, B. Distribution of Arsenic and Risk Assessment of Activities on Soccer Pitches Irrigated with Arsenic-Contaminated Water. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1060.

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