Fluoride Action Network

Land-use change caused by anthropogenic activities increase fluoride and arsenic pollution in groundwater and human health risk.

Source: Journal of Hazardous Materials [in press] | Authors: Li Y, Bi Y, Mi W, Xie S, Ji L.
Posted on October 21st, 2020
Location: China

Abstract Highlights

  • Groundwater fluoride and arsenic under human lands were highly polluted.
  • The distribution of high fluoride and arsenic in groundwater expanded.
  • The exposure of fluoride and arsenic increased between two land-use periods.
  • Anthropogenic activities could place human at a higher health risk.
  • Policy-makers should take measures to reduce groundwater pollution.

Groundwater pollution is becoming a more serious issue because of various anthropogenic activities. A large proportion of the population living in the urbanized and industrialized world is exposed daily to hazardous materials. However, despite the knowledge that protecting groundwater is necessary, little is known about the role of land-use change for human health risks. In this study, we analyzed the temporal and spatial variation of groundwater fluoride (F) and arsenic (As) during 2010–2018 in Shanxi Province of Northern China. Distribution areas of high F and As increased from 2010 to 2018 and spread over time. We assessed human health risk by calculating carcinogenic risk and non-carcinogenic risk. The results showed that F exposure, frequency of high concentration, and risk from 2016 to 2018 were higher than that in 2010–2015, and similar results were obtained for As exposure. Further, land-use change caused by anthropogenic activities increased F and As pollution in groundwater and placed humans at a higher health risk. Our study sheds light on anthropogenic activities that could increase human health risks caused by groundwater F and As via changing land-use. The study provides supports and suggestions for policy-makers to reduce groundwater pollution and prevent adverse health risks to residents.