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Characterization of groundwater hydrogeochemistry, quality, and associated health hazards to the residents of southwestern Bangladesh

Abstract

In this research, we intended to appraise the hydrogeochemistry and human health risks of groundwater (GW) in southwestern Bangladesh, applying hydrogeochemical techniques, GW quality index (GWQI), several pollution indices, and mathematical health risk models. The trace elements (TEs) and ionic composition of GW samples were analyzed by atomic absorption spectroscopy and ion chromatography (AAS-IC) technique. The evaporate dissolution, silicate weathering, and ionic exchange processes control the hydrogeochemistry in GW. The GWQI revealed that 34% of samples were poor to very poor quality for drinking purposes, whereas irrigation water quality indices suggested moderate suitability of GW. The mean hazard quotient (HQ) and hazard index (HI) exceeded the tolerable level for adults and children, making substantial chronic health impacts on humans. The estimated carcinogenic risk of As and Pb surpassed the upper level of 1 × 10–4 for both aged populations. Overall, the results indicate that the local inhabitants have detrimental health risks; hence, effective regulation and proper measures should be concentrated for continuous monitoring, assessment, and remediation of As, Mn, Pb, and Hg in the study area.

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Data availability

Data are available upon request on the corresponding author.

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Acknowledgements

Authors are grateful to the anonymous reviewers for their constructive suggestions and recommendations to improve the quality of this manuscript significantly. Authors greatly acknowledged the Department of Environmental Science and Disaster Management, Noakhali Science and Technology University for completion of this research project. Authors gratefully acknowledged the technical support and preliminary draft checking of this paper by Mahfuzur Rahman, Lecturer, Department of Oceanography, Noakhali Science & Technology University. Authors also thankful to Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission and Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR), Dhaka, Bangladesh for other sorts of experimental support.

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M.M.K. and N.H designed, planned, conceptualized, and drafted the original manuscript, and S.A., M.H., and M.M. were involved in statistical analysis and interpretation; K.J.F., L.N.H., and T.R.C. contributed to instrumental setup, data analysis, and validation; A.R.M.T.I and M.D.A contributed to editing the manuscript, literature review, and proofreading; M.M.K, A.R.M. T.I., and M.H.S. were involved in software, mapping, and proofreading during the manuscript drafting stage.

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Correspondence to Abu Reza Md Towfiqul Islam.

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Kabir, .M., Hossain, N., Islam, A.R.M.T. et al. Characterization of groundwater hydrogeochemistry, quality, and associated health hazards to the residents of southwestern Bangladesh. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-15152-2

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Keywords

  • Drinking water sustainability
  • Water chemistry
  • Trace metals
  • Bangladesh
  • Carcinogenic risk
  • Irrigation potentials