G. Tepanosyan, L. Sahakyan, O. Belyaeva, S. Asmaryan, A. Saghatelyan; Science of the Total Environment, 2018, 639, pp. 900–909; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.05.211
Soils samples collected during different geochemical surveys of the city of Kajaran located near the biggest Cu-Mo mining area in Armenia were subjected to the multivariate geostatistical analysis and geochemical mapping in order to reveal soil heavy metals spatial distribution pattern and assess human health risk level under continuous impact of mining activities. In addition, human health risk assessment was done for the contents of Pb, Cu, Zn, Co, Mo, Mn, Ti, and Fe.
The results of Principal Component Analysis and Cluster Analysis verify each other and were also complemented by the spatial distribution features of studied heavy metals indicating that two groups of elements have been generated. The first anthropogenically predominated group includes the main industrial elements Mo and Cu, and their accessories Pb and Zn while Ti, Mn, Fe and Co with the naturally predominant contents were observed in the second group. Moreover, the study reveals that the superposition of geogenic and anthropogenic components lead to the alteration of the shapes of areas with the high natural contents of heavy metals and formation of polluted areas with the intensive anomalies of elements.
Health risk assessment showed that Mo was the only studied element which poses a non-carcinogenic risk to adult and children's health in some sampling sites during the whole period of investigations. Moreover, in all studied locations multi-elemental non-carcinogenic risk to children health from all studied heavy metals were detected. Special attention was given to the soils of kindergarten territories, and the results indicated that Hazard Index in kindergartens was >1 indicating an adverse health effect to children. The results obtained can serve as a basis for the development and implementation of risks reduction measures and systematic monitoring program planning.
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