Case Studies

Assessment of Arsenic and Heavy Metal Pollution in Chhattisgarh, India


Natural contamination of arsenic (As) and heavy metals (HMs) poses a health threat in many regions. Ambagarh Tehsil, Rajnandgaon, Central India, is a heavily polluted area due to mineralization of geogenic As and HMs in the environment, i.e., water, plants, and soil. In this work, contamination extents and sources of As and HMs (Cr, Mn, Cu, Zn, and Pb) in water, soil, and common plants were investigated to understand the main entry route of these toxic elements in human and domestic animals. The mean concentrations of total As in surface water, groundwater, surface soil, plant leaves, and animal stool samples of 0.031±0.009  mgmL1, 0.360±0.114  mgmL1, 192±65  mgkg1, 5.61±4.78  mgkg1, and 51.0±7.6  mgkg1, respectively, were found. The speciation, sources, enrichment, and toxicities of the As and other HMs are discussed, together with some associated health hazards, exemplified in domestic animals exposed to the contaminated water and food.