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Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 22, Issue 12, pp 9400–9412 | Cite as

Spatial distribution, health risk assessment and statistical source identification of the trace elements in surface water from the Xiangjiang River, China

  • Xiaoxia Zeng
  • Yunguo LiuEmail author
  • Shaohong You
  • Guangming Zeng
  • Xiaofei Tan
  • Xinjiang Hu
  • Xi Hu
  • Lei Huang
  • Fei Li
Research Article

Abstract

Surface water samples were collected from the sampling sites throughout the Xiangjiang River for investigating spatial variation, risk assessment and source identification of the trace elements. The results indicated that the mean concentrations of the elements were under the permissible limits as prescribed by guidelines except arsenic (As). Based on the health risk indexes, the primary contributor to the chronic risks was arsenic (As), which was suggested to be the most important pollutant leading to non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic concerns. Individuals, who depend on surface water from the Xiangjiang River for potable and domestic use, might be subjected to the integrated health risks for exposure to the mixed trace elements. Children were more sensitive to the risks than the adults, and the oral intake was the primary exposure pathway. Besides, multivariate statistical analyses revealed that arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), selenium (Se), and mercury (Hg) mainly derived from the chemical industrial wastewaters and the coal burning, and zinc (Zn) copper (Cu) and chromium (Cr) mainly originated from the natural erosion, the mineral exploitation activities, and the non-point agricultural sources. As a whole, the upstream of the Xiangjiang River was explained as the high polluted region relatively.

Keywords

Xiangjiang River Trace element Human health risk Source identification Surface water Children 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41271332 and Grant No. 51478470) and the Science and Technology Planning Project of Hunan Province, China (Grant No. 2012SK2021).

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaoxia Zeng
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yunguo Liu
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Shaohong You
    • 3
  • Guangming Zeng
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xiaofei Tan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xinjiang Hu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xi Hu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lei Huang
    • 4
  • Fei Li
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.College of Environmental Science and EngineeringHunan UniversityChangshaPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Environmental Biology and Pollution Control (Hunan University)Ministry of EducationChangshaPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.College of Environmental Science and EngineeringGuilin University of TechnologyGuilinPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Institute for the History of Natural SciencesChinese Academy of SciencesPekingPeople’s Republic of China

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