Toxic fluoride and arsenic contaminated groundwater in the Lahore and Kasur districts, Punjab, Pakistan and possible contaminant sources

Environ Pollut. 2007 Feb;145(3):839-49. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2006.05.007. Epub 2006 Jun 13.

Abstract

The present study is the first attempt to put forward possible sources of As, F- and SO4(2-) contaminated groundwater in the Kalalanwala area, Punjab, Pakistan. Five rainwater and 24 groundwater samples from three different depths were analyzed. Shallow groundwater from 24 to 27 m depth contained high F- (2.47-21.1mg/L), while the groundwater samples from the deeper depth were free from fluoride contamination. All groundwater samples contained high As (32-1900 microg/L), in excess of WHO drinking water standards. The SO4(2-) ranges from 110 to 1550 mg/L. Delta34S data indicate three sources for SO4(2-) air pollutants (5.5-5.7 per thousand), fertilizers (4.8 per thousand), and household waste (7.0 per thousand). Our important finding is the presence of SO4(2-), As and F- in rainwater, indicating the contribution of these elements from air pollution. We propose that pollutants originate, in part, from coal combusted at brick factories and were mobilized promotionally by the alkaline nature of the local groundwater.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants / analysis
  • Arsenic / analysis*
  • Coal
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods
  • Fluorides / analysis*
  • Fresh Water / analysis
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Ions / analysis
  • Pakistan
  • Rain
  • Sulfur Isotopes / analysis
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis*

Substances

  • Air Pollutants
  • Coal
  • Ions
  • Sulfur Isotopes
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Arsenic
  • Fluorides