Ribeirão Preto City is supplied by the Guarani Aquifer System and suffers with intense environmental degradation due to growth of the vehicle fleet, burning of cane fields and also with water contamination by agricultural products, such as pesticides and fertilizers. The aim of the present study was to assess the human health risk derived from the exposure to metals through water and air (PM10) for two population groups (adults and children) of the municipality of Ribeirão Preto during the dry and wet seasons. Seasonal and spatial assessments of the metal concentrations in supply wells and household waters and the concentrations of PM10 and its metals were also performed. Element concentrations were determined by inductively coupled plasma spectrometry. Environmental exposure to metals were assessed under a residential scenario and estimated considering the three main routes of exposure: ingestion, dermal contact and inhalation. The results showed a higher concentration of PM10 during the dry season, which may be due to the lower precipitation and higher number of burns in this period. Copper in household waters presented a great increase when compared with the concentrations of the supply wells, probably related to the contamination during the route from its source until the residences supply. Although presenting levels in accordance with the national legislation, household waters in the municipality of Ribeirão Preto may be a concern for human exposure to metals for children during the wet season as well as the levels found for the carcinogenic risk (ELCR).
Keywords: Air quality; Guarani aquifer system; Human health risk assessment; Metals; Water quality.
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