Health Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in the Soil of Angouran Mineral Processing Complex in Iran

Document Type : Original Research Paper


Department of Geology, Faculty of Science, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran


This study aims at assessing the health-related risk of As, Co, Cr, Ni, and Cu in the soil around Angouran Mineral Processing Complex (AMPC), due to environmentally sensitive nature of the area, having agricultural activities, habitats of animal and plant species, and industrial activities integrated with each other. Soil samples have been collected from 74 points (0-20 cm) of the area and concentrations of heavy metals have been measured, using ICP-OES. The Geoaccumulation Index (Igeo), Enrichment Factor (EF), and Integrated Pollution Index (IPI) have been used to examine the pollution level. Moreover, hazard indices (HI), hazard quotient (HQ) and cancer risk (CR) have been utilized to assess the non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic health risks of heavy metals. The average concentration of heavy metals indicates that metals’ concentration in the soil have increased in the following order: Cr = Ni> As> Cu> Co. Results from Igeo, Ef, and IPI show that As and Ni are placed in the very high pollution category. The non-carcinogenic risk of dermal absorption (adults = 1.30 E + 00, children = 1.35 E + 00) of Cr and Co polluted particles turn out to be very high. In addition, the risk of cancer as a result of the ingestion of As- and Cr-contaminated soil particles is high in both of age groups, with children being 68% more likely to be at risk of cancer than adults. Therefore, actions such as soil remediation should be done to reduce the risk of exposure and protect the health of the residents, especially the farmers.


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