Environ Anal Health Toxicol.  2020 Sep;35(3):e2020019. 10.5620/eaht.2020019.

Risk assessment via oral and dermal pathways from heavy metal polluted water of Kolleru lake - A Ramsar wetland in Andhra Pradesh, India

  • 1CSIR–National Geophysical Research Institute, Uppal Road, Hyderabad, India


The Kolleru Lake, India is a famous wetland of international significance. Analyses of certain potentially toxic heavy metal ions in water indicate that this freshwater lake is characterized by highly heterogeneous distribution of chromium (Cr; 4.5‒80 μg/L), copper, iron (Cu, Fe; below detection limit), manganese (Mn; 1‒313 μg/L) and zinc (Zn; below detection limit). Non-carcinogenic health risk assessment indices like hazard quotients (HQ) and hazard indices (HI) are estimated following the guidelines recommended by the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). These indices are found to be within the acceptable limit (<1), indicating negligible potential health risk via ingestion and dermal routes. However, when the average values of these indices pertaining to the Kolleru lake are normalized with similar estimates from clean and uncontaminated global surface water, both high and low ratios are obtained. While Cr (12.5), Cu (2.3) and Mn (3.7) exhibit high ratios, those of Fe (0.09) and Zn (0.99) show respectively low and comparable values. The significance of such heterogeneous distribution of hazard indices and their ratios are discussed. Further, average carcinogenic risk levels of the adults and children due to Cr ingestion are estimated to be 0.00154 and 0.0022, respectively. Both values are higher than the permissible levels recommended by the USEPA. As a remediation measure, it is recommended that monitoring the levels of heavy metal in water and other items like fish in the lake or rice and vegetables grown in the area is needed to be carried out at regular intervals. This study therefore offers requisite perception to the local government and health officials to evolve their plan of action so that effective management and mitigation of water quality of the Kolleru lake can be administered.


Kolleru Lake; Water pollution; Toxic heavy metals; Chronic daily intake; Health hazard indices
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