Ecological risk assessment and source identification of heavy metals including lead, arsenic, cadmium and zinc in surface water and sediments from Gheshlagh river, Sanandaj
Background and Objective
Heavy metals are considered as serious pollutants due to their toxicity, persistence in natural conditions and ability to enter and accumulate in the food chain. Therefore, this study was carried to assess the potential ecological risk and identify the source of heavy metals including lead, arsenic, cadmium and zinc in the surface water and sediments from Gheshlagh river, Sanandaj.
For this purpose, 16 samples of surface water and sediment were collected. Then, concentrations of arsenic, lead, cadmium and zinc were determined by atomic absorption spectrometry. Moreover, potential ecological risk index (PERI) and enrichment factor (EF) were utilized to assess the ecological risk, and heavy metals pollution index (HPI) was used to survey the effects of heavy metals on human health. Multivariate analyses such as correlation analysis, principal component analysis (PCA) and EF were used to identify human resource potential of arsenic, lead, cadmium and zinc.
The results showed that the average concentration of a group of elements, including Pb, Cd and Zn, was higher than background levels, whereas average concentration of As was significantly lower than the background levels. Enrichment of the studied heavy metals was obtained as Pb> Zn> Cd> As in Gheshlagh river.  The results of PERI showed a low risk for Pb, As and Zn and a moderate risk for Cd in the samples under the influence of road traffic.
Discussion and Conclusion
Considering the results of EF and PCA, it can be concluded that the concentration of As has been mostly affected by the geological structure. Pb and Cd concentrations in four sampling areas were equally affected by agriculture and road traffic. It was also found that the concentration of Zn is influenced by residential wastewater.
Article Type:
Research/Original Article
Journal of Environmental Sciences and Technology, Volume:21 Issue: 3, 2019
19 - 35  
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