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Article

Human Health Risk Assessment for Exposure to Potentially Toxic Elements in Polluted Rivers in the Ecuadorian Amazon

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Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral, ESPOL, Facultad de Ingeniería en Ciencias de la Tierra, Campus Gustavo Galindo km 30.5 Vía Perimetral, Guayaquil P.O. Box 09-01-5863, Ecuador
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Department of Energy and Fuels, E.T.S. Ingenieros de Minas y Energía, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Ríos Rosas 21, 28003 Madrid, Spain
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Safety and Health Postgraduate Programme, Universidad Espíritu Santo, Guayaquil 092301, Ecuador
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Luís Filipe Sanches Fernandes
Water 2021, 13(5), 613; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13050613
Received: 19 January 2021 / Revised: 16 February 2021 / Accepted: 22 February 2021 / Published: 26 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Water Resources Management, Policy and Governance)
Anthropogenic activities performed in the Ecuadorian Amazon have released potentially toxic elements (PTEs) into the rivers, causing severe environmental pollution and increasing the risk of exposure to the residents of the surrounding areas. This study aims to carry out a human health risk assessment using deterministic and probabilistic methods to estimate the hazard index (HI) and total cancer risk (TCR) related to multi-pathway human exposure to PTEs in polluted rivers. Concentrations of Al, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, and Zn in surface water and sediment samples from rivers on the Ecuadorian Amazon were considered to assess the potential adverse human health effects. As a result, deterministic and probabilistic estimations of cancer and non-cancer risk through exposure to surface waters and sediments were above the safety limit. A sensitivity analysis identified the concentration of PTEs and the exposure duration (ED) as the two most important variables for probabilistic health risk assessment. The highest risk for receptors was related to exposure to polluted sediments through incidental ingestion and dermal contact routes. According to the deterministic estimation, the human health risk through ingestion of water was above the threshold in specific locations. This study reveals the potential health risk to which the population is exposed. This information can be used as a baseline to develop public strategies to reduce anthropogenic pollution and exposure to PTEs in Ecuadorian Amazon rivers. View Full-Text
Keywords: potentially toxic elements; deterministic approach; probabilistic approach; Monte Carlo simulation; sensitivity analysis potentially toxic elements; deterministic approach; probabilistic approach; Monte Carlo simulation; sensitivity analysis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Jiménez-Oyola, S.; Escobar Segovia, K.; García-Martínez, M.-J.; Ortega, M.; Bolonio, D.; García-Garizabal, I.; Salgado, B. Human Health Risk Assessment for Exposure to Potentially Toxic Elements in Polluted Rivers in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Water 2021, 13, 613. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13050613

AMA Style

Jiménez-Oyola S, Escobar Segovia K, García-Martínez M-J, Ortega M, Bolonio D, García-Garizabal I, Salgado B. Human Health Risk Assessment for Exposure to Potentially Toxic Elements in Polluted Rivers in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Water. 2021; 13(5):613. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13050613

Chicago/Turabian Style

Jiménez-Oyola, Samantha, Kenny Escobar Segovia, María-Jesús García-Martínez, Marcelo Ortega, David Bolonio, Iker García-Garizabal, and Bryan Salgado. 2021. "Human Health Risk Assessment for Exposure to Potentially Toxic Elements in Polluted Rivers in the Ecuadorian Amazon" Water 13, no. 5: 613. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13050613

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