Co-occurrence, possible origin, and health-risk assessment of arsenic and fluoride in drinking water sources in Mexico: Geographical data visualization

Alarcon-Herrera, Maria T. and Martin-Alarcon, Daniel A. and Gutierrez, Melida and Reynoso-Cuevas, Lilian and Martin-Dominguez, Alejandra and Olmos-Marquez, Mario A. and Bundschuh, Jochen (2020) Co-occurrence, possible origin, and health-risk assessment of arsenic and fluoride in drinking water sources in Mexico: Geographical data visualization. Science of the Total Environment, 698:134168. pp. 1-8. ISSN 0048-9697

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Abstract

Arsenic and fluoride in drinking water present a significant challenge to public health worldwide. In this study, we analyze the results of one of the largest surveys of drinking water quality in Mexico: 14,058 samples from 3951 sites, collected between January and December 2017. We use these data to identify the distribution and possible origin of arsenic and fluoride in drinking water throughout the country, and to estimate the associated health burden. The highest concentrations appear in alluvial aquifers in arid northern Mexico, where high-silica volcanic rock likely releases both arsenic and fluoride to the groundwater. We find fluoride contamination to be significantly correlated with aridity (Pearson correlation = −0.45, p = 0.0105), and also find a significant difference in fluoride concentrations between arid and humid states (Welch's t-test, p = 0.004). We estimate population exposure by assigning to each town in Mexico the average concentration of any sampling sites within 5 km. Our results show that 56% of the Mexican population lives within 5 km of a sampling site, 3.05 million people are exposed to fluoride above the reference dosage of 0.06 mg/(kg ∗ day), 8.81 million people are exposed to arsenic above the limit of 10 μg/L, and an additional 13,070 lifetime cases of cancer are expected from this arsenic exposure alone. This burden of disease is concentrated in the arid states of north-central Mexico.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (1 July 2013 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (1 July 2013 -)
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2020 04:20
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2020 00:36
Uncontrolled Keywords: Arsenic; Fluoride; Drinking water contamination; Contaminant mapping
Fields of Research : 05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050204 Environmental Impact Assessment
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050206 Environmental Monitoring
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920405 Environmental Health
D Environment > 96 Environment > 9611 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water > 961103 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water in Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Environments (excl. Urban and Industrial Use)
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.134168
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/38007

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