SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION, POLLUTION, AND HEALTH RISK ASSESSMENT OF HEAVY METAL IN INDUSTRIAL AREA SOILS OF ULAANBAATAR, MONGOLIA
Keywords: Spatial distribution, Heavy metal, Soil pollution, Health risk assessment, Ulaanbaatar
Abstract. The heavy metal pollution of urban soil of industrial area and its impact on human healths becoming one of the environmental problems in Ulaanbaatar city of Mongolia. The purpose of this study was to determine spatial distribution and health risk of heavy metal pollution in soils surrounding area of leather processing factory and wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) of Ulaanbaatar city. Mapping the spatial distribution of contaminants in soils is the basis of pollution evaluation and risk control. Interpolation methods are extensively applied in the mapping processes to estimate the heavy metal (As, Zn, Pb, Cd, Cr, Cu) concentrations of topsoils. The average concentrations of Cr, Ni, Pb, Zn, Cu and As were 1986.9, 110.5, 111.0, 110.5, 53.5, 16.4 mg/kg, respectively. According to result as the soil pollution index with spatial distribution, a high pollution level for Cr while Zn, Cu and Pb have medium pollution levels. The soil pollution index (PI) values of heavy metals of study areas are, following descending orders Cr > Zn > Cu > Pb > As > Ni. The potential ecological risk of Cr, Cu, Pb, As indicated high ecological risk in the study area. The Hazard index values for almost all the metals were higher than 1, it is indicating a carcinogenic risk for children and adults. The risk index values of two metals (Cr, As) were contribute to a higher risk of development of cancer in humans. Heavy metal contamination can occur when soil particles are swept away from the initial pollution areas by the wind. Therefore, it is necessary to take measures to reduce soil pollution and encourage rehabilitation.