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Open AccessArticle

Environmentally Sensitive Elements in Groundwater of an Industrial Town in India: Spatial Distribution and Human Health Risk

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IK Gujral Punjab Technical University, Kapurthala 144601, India
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Department of Civil Engineering, Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh 160012, India
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Department of Geology, School of Built Environment, IK Gujral Punjab Technical University, Kapurthala 144601, India
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Geology, Water Resources and Geoinformatics Division, Punjab Remote Sensing Centre, Ludhiana 141004, India
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Department of Civil Engineering, Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh 160012, India
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(11), 2350; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11112350 (registering DOI)
Received: 22 September 2019 / Revised: 2 November 2019 / Accepted: 5 November 2019 / Published: 8 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Water Quality and Ecosystems)
This paper presents the results of a study to assess the groundwater quality in an industrial town located in Punjab, India. A total of 99 samples of groundwater were analyzed during the premonsoon and postmonsoon periods of 2018, which revealed the presence of numerous environmentally sensitive elements (ESEs), namely, arsenic (As), aluminum (Al), chromium (Cr), iron (Fe), mercury (Hg), nickel (Ni), selenium (Se), and lead (Pb). Geographic information system (GIS)-based spatial interpolation showed higher contamination levels around the industrial areas and the drainage channel where industrial effluent is generally discharged. Further, groundwater quality was assessed using the heavy metal pollution index (HPI) and the metal index (MI), which indicated poor drinkability of the groundwater. Human exposure to groundwater contaminated with ESEs can pose serious health risks; therefore, noncarcinogenic and carcinogenic health risks due to presence of these elements were also evaluated. Reported health risks to humans from exposure to contaminated groundwater indicate the importance of regular monitoring of groundwater for ESEs vis-a-vis industrial effluent disposal practices.
Keywords: environmentally sensitive elements; groundwater quality; GIS; health risk assessment; heavy metal pollution index; metal index environmentally sensitive elements; groundwater quality; GIS; health risk assessment; heavy metal pollution index; metal index
MDPI and ACS Style

Singh, D.D.; Thind, P.S.; Sharma, M.; SashikantaSahoo; John, S. Environmentally Sensitive Elements in Groundwater of an Industrial Town in India: Spatial Distribution and Human Health Risk. Water 2019, 11, 2350.

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