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A long-term comparative assessment of human health risk to leachate-contaminated groundwater from heavy metal with different liner systems

Mishra, Harshit, Karmakar, Subhankar, Kumar, Rakesh, Kadambala, Praneeth
Environmental science and pollution research international 2018 v.25 no.3 pp. 2911-2923
Monte Carlo method, adults, children, clay, developing countries, groundwater, health effects assessments, heavy metals, human health, landfill leachates, landfills, models, municipal solid waste, polymers, public health, risk, soil, surface water, synthetic products, uncertainty, waste disposal, India
The handling and management of municipal solid waste (MSW) are major challenges for solid waste management in developing countries. Open dumping is still the most common waste disposal method in India. However, landfilling also causes various environmental, social, and human health impacts. The generation of heavily polluted leachate is a major concern to public health. Engineered barrier systems (EBSs) are commonly used to restrict potentially harmful wastes by preventing the leachate percolation to groundwater and overflow to surface water bodies. The EBSs are made of natural (e.g., soil, clay) and/or synthetic materials such as polymeric materials (e.g., geomembranes, geosynthetic clay liners) by arranging them in layers. Various studies have estimated the human health risk from leachate-contaminated groundwater. However, no studies have been reported to compare the human health risks, particularly due to the leachate contamination with different liner systems. The present study endeavors to quantify the human health risk to contamination from MSW landfill leachate using multiple simulations for various EBSs. To quantify the variation in health risks to groundwater consumption to the child and adult populations, the Turbhe landfill of Navi Mumbai in India has been selected. The leachate and groundwater samples were collected continuously throughout January–September in 2015 from the landfill site, and heavy metal concentrations were analyzed using an inductively coupled plasma system. The LandSim 2.5 Model, a landfill simulator, was used to simulate the landfill activities for various time slices, and non-carcinogenic human health risk was determined for selected heavy metals. Further, the uncertainties associated with multiple input parameters in the health risk model were quantified under a Monte Carlo simulation framework.