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Distribution of some potentially toxic elements in the soils of the Jharia Coalfield: A probabilistic approach for source identification and risk assessment
Land Degradation & Development  (IF4.977),  Pub Date : 2021-11-26, DOI: 10.1002/ldr.4155
Azeem Uddin Siddiqui, Manish Kumar Jain, Reginald Ebhin Masto

Potentially toxic elements (PTEs) in coal mining soil degrade soil quality and adversely affect people's health. The increasing mining activities in the Jharia Coalfield (JCF) may increase the concentration of PTEs in soils. Therefore, it is vital to have an in-depth analysis of land degradation caused by them, but there is a lack of accurate and efficient methods to estimate land degradation and health risk analysis in JCF. Therefore, finite mixture distribution model (FMDM), positive matrix factorization (PMF), and Monte Carlo simulation were applied to Jharia's PTEs dataset. The FMDM was employed to distinguish the background concentration and the contamination due to anthropogenic activity. In addition, the contribution of the source was determined through PMF. The FMDM suggested two possible sources of PTEs, while the PMF defines the influence of PTEs more broadly and identifies three sources of PTEs in soil. The results showed that PTEs contribution by a natural source, coal mining, and atmospheric deposition accounted for 45.72%, 27.34%, and 26.94%, respectively. Based on health risk results, this region does not pose a noncarcinogenic risk, but it does pose a carcinogenic risk, especially to infants. JCF comprises a relatively low concentration of PTEs as compared with other possible values for India. Probabilistic health risk assessment studies are scarce for Indian soils, especially in mining areas. In combination, these approaches will provide deeper insights and help identify potential solutions for PTEs contamination in these areas.