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Anthropogenic Effects of Coal Mining on Ecological Resources of the Central Indus Basin, Pakistan

1
Earth Sciences Department, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan
2
National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad 44000, Pakistan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(4), 1255; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17041255
Received: 17 December 2019 / Revised: 31 January 2020 / Accepted: 11 February 2020 / Published: 15 February 2020
Water is essential for life, agriculture, and industrialization; however, a rapid increase in population is constantly causing water scarcity and pollution in Pakistan. Mining activities produce the potential toxic element (PTE) accumulation, which lead to unnatural enrichment, ecological pollution, and environmental degradation. The ecological resources impeded by the PTEs cause serious abnormalities in the population through dermal contact, inhalation, and digestion. Mining induced anthropogenic activities are well-known causes of contamination of ecological resources. The produced effluents have drastic effects by changing the physical, chemical, and biological properties of the concerned resources. The Central Indus Basin is a well-known coal regime, where more than 160 mines are active at present. The samples that were collected from the mine water, groundwater, surface water, and the soil were analyzed by atomic absorption and elemental determination analysis (EDA) for an assessment of their quality and the presence of PTEs. The results were correlated with available quality standards, including the World Health Organization (WHO), National Standard of Drinking Water Quality (NSDWQ), World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and Sediment Quality Guidelines (SQGs). These analyses showed the noticeable anthropogenic concentration of PTEs, like iron, cadmium, sulphur, and copper, which can degrade the quality of resources in the Central Indus Basin and have adverse effects on human health. An excessive amount of acid mine drainage (AMD) draws attention to some suitable active or passive treatments for disposal from mines to avoid degradation of ecological resources in the Central Indus Basin of Pakistan. View Full-Text
Keywords: Coal mining; Potential Toxic Elements; Ecological resources; Central Indus basin; Contamination Coal mining; Potential Toxic Elements; Ecological resources; Central Indus basin; Contamination
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Jabbar Khan, A.; Akhter, G.; Gabriel, H.F.; Shahid, M. Anthropogenic Effects of Coal Mining on Ecological Resources of the Central Indus Basin, Pakistan. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 1255.

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