Health risks assessment and source admeasurement of potentially dangerous heavy metals (Cu, Fe, and Ni) in rapidly growing urban settlement

Arsh E. Noor, Raqash Fatima, Sadia Aslam, Afzal Hussain, Zaib un Nisa, Mariam Khan, Abdallah A.A. Mohammed, Mika Sillanpaa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Environmental contamination is a global challenge that impacts every aspect of ecosystem. The contaminants from anthropogenic or industrial trash continually recirculate into the environment, agricultural land, plants, livestock, and ultimately into humans by way of the food chain. After an increase in human and farmland animal deaths from illnesses due to contaminated drinking water, toxic metal water poisoning has remained a global concern. Diverse environmental and enforcement organisations have attempted to regulate the activities that serve as precursors to these heavy metals which have been proven ineffective. These unnecessary metals have severely hampered most biological processes. The presence of hazardous metals, which are harmful at extremely high levels and have a negative effect on the health of living bodies generally degrades the nutritional value of water. In order to evaluate the heavy metals (Cu, Ni, and Fe) toxicity of groundwater in pri-urban areas, the current study was conducted that have been considered as advance solution to tackle climate change which influence coastal ecosystem. Additionally, the impacts of soil and plant (spinach and brassica) contamination from groundwater were evaluated. The heavy metals were examined in the soil and groundwater samples (Pb, Fe and Ni). While Fe concentrations in water samples were found to be high as 1.978 mg/L as compared to Ni and Cu values low. According to WHO guidelines, the mean value of Fe exceeds the limit value. Similarly, Cu had a higher mean value (0.7 mg/L) in soil samples than other metals (Ni and Fe). In comparison to Ni and Cu, the Fe concentrations in spinach and brassica plants samples are greater, at 17.2 mg/L and 3.22 mg/L, respectively. The possible effects of metal poisoning of groundwater and plants on human health have been assessed using the Hazard Quotient (HQ), Evaluated Daily Intake (EDI), and Incremental Life Time Cancer Risk formulas (ILTCR). When drinking Ni-contaminated water, humans are more at risk of developing cancer (0.0031) than Fe and Cu. Metal concentrations in water and brassica showed substantially more scattered behaviour on the plot and no meaningful relationship, although PCA and masked matrix correlation showed a fair association between Ni and Cu in brassica (r2: 0.46) and Fe and Ni in spinach (r2: 0.31). According to the study's findings, it is anticipated that special management and groundwater monitoring will be needed in the examined area to reduce the health risks related to drinking water that has been contaminated with metals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number117736
JournalEnvironmental Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Brassica
  • Environment
  • Heavy metals
  • Plant
  • Soil
  • Spinach
  • Water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • General Environmental Science


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