Seven potential sources of arsenic pollution in Latin America and their environmental and health impacts

Bundschuh, Jochen and Schneider, Jerusa and Alam, Mohammad Ayaz and Niazi, Nabeel Khan and Herath, Indika and Parvez, Faruque and Tomaszewska, Barbara and Guilherme, Luiz Roberto Guimaraes and Maity, Jyoti Prakash and Lopez, Dina L. and Cirelli, Alicia Fernandez and Perez-Carrera, Alejo and Morales-Simfors, Nury and Alarcon-Herrera, Maria Teresa and Baisch, Paulo and Mohan, Dinesh and Mukherjee, Abhijit (2021) Seven potential sources of arsenic pollution in Latin America and their environmental and health impacts. Science of The Total Environment, 780:146274. pp. 1-29. ISSN 0048-9697


Abstract

This review presents a holistic overview of the occurrence, mobilization, and pathways of arsenic (As) from predominantly geogenic sources into different near-surface environmental compartments, together with the respective reported or potential impacts on human health in Latin America. The main sources and pathways of As pollution in this region include: (i) volcanism and geothermalism: (a) volcanic rocks, fluids (e.g., gases) and ash, including large-scale transport of the latter through different mechanisms, (b) geothermal fluids and their exploitation; (ii) natural lixiviation and accelerated mobilization from (mostly sulfidic) metal ore deposits by mining and related activities; (iii) coal deposits and their exploitation; (iv) hydrocarbon reservoirs and co-produced water during exploitation; (v) solute and sediment transport through rivers to the sea; (vi) atmospheric As (dust and aerosol); and (vii) As exposure through geophagy and involuntary ingestion. The two most important and well-recognized sources and mechanisms for As release into the Latin American population's environments are: (i) volcanism and geothermalism, and (ii) strongly accelerated As release from geogenic sources by mining and related activities. Several new analyses from As-endemic areas of Latin America emphasize that As-related mortality and morbidity continue to rise even after decadal efforts towards lowering As exposure. Several public health regulatory institutions have classified As and its compounds as carcinogenic chemicals, as As uptake can affect several organ systems, viz. dermal, gastrointestinal, peptic, neurological, respiratory, reproductive, following exposure. Accordingly, ingesting large amounts of As can damage the stomach, kidneys, liver, heart, and nervous system; and, in severe cases, may cause death. Moreover, breathing air with high As levels can cause lung damage, shortness of breath, chest pain, and cough. Further, As compounds, being corrosive, can also cause skin lesions or damage eyes, and long-term exposure to As can lead to cancer development in several organs.


Statistics for USQ ePrint 49252
Statistics for this ePrint Item
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: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2022 22:51
Last Modified: 28 Jul 2022 22:58
Uncontrolled Keywords: Arsenic sources and human exposure, Mining, Hydrocarbon and coal exploitation, Volcanism and geothermalism, Geophagy, Environmental and health impacts
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0904 Chemical Engineering > 090410 Water Treatment Processes
09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090508 Water Quality Engineering
03 Chemical Sciences > 0399 Other Chemical Sciences > 039901 Environmental Chemistry (incl. Atmospheric Chemistry)
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4004 Chemical engineering > 400499 Chemical engineering not elsewhere classified
37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3701 Atmospheric sciences > 370104 Atmospheric composition, chemistry and processes
40 ENGINEERING > 4004 Chemical engineering > 400411 Water treatment processes
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.146274
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/49252

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only