Publisher © Czech Geological Survey, ISSN: 2336-5757 (online), 0514-8057 (print)

Arsenic in urban soils of Prague, Czech Republic: assessing exposure and risk to human health

 

Michal Poňavič, Magdalena Zimová, Zdeňka Wittlingerová, Tereza Jandová, Ilja Knésl, Karel Dušek

Geoscience Research Reports 49, 2016, pages 53–56
Map sheets: Praha (12-24)

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Published online: 30 June 2016

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Abstract

Aim of this work was not only the research of surface distribution of arsenic in topsoils of the central part of the capital of the Czech Republic - Prague, but also evaluation of the consequent health risks.
This research is a part of one of the main topics being currently investigated by the associaton of European geological surveys - EuroGeoSurveys - EGS, which formed a geochemistry expert group to focus on the issue (Urban Geochemistry Project - URGE). The objective of the URGE project is detailed study of level of soil pollution by hazardous trace elements in large European cities and evaluation of the associated health risks.
Contents (medians) of As in the studied samples of Prague topsoils significantly (even by order multiples) exceed the average concentrations of this element in the lithosphere.
The calculations have confirmed that the level of the As exposure with carcinogenic properties has been exceeded, particularly for the population of children. The calculations have not determined increased health risks in terms of non-carcinogenic effects (HI) of As for children in any of the studied exposure pathways at any of the monitored sites. In the evaluation of the cancer risks (ILCR) of the total exposure to carcinogenic As, a risk greater than 1 × 10-6 was found at 4 monitored sites at which even the As limit concentration in the soil had been exceeded.
A risk higher than 1 × 10-6 was found at all sites. When the risk of the total exposure to the carcinogenic As within the framework of the whole country is evaluated, the acceptable level of risk 1 × 10-6 is exceeded in 99 % of the population of children.
 

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