Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Modelling the Origin, Fate, and Ecological and Health Impacts of Heavy Metals from an Abandoned Mercury Mine in a Paradise Island in the Philippines

Version 1 : Received: 14 March 2022 / Approved: 15 March 2022 / Online: 15 March 2022 (10:58:46 CET)

How to cite: Diwa, R.R.; Deocaris, C.C.; Geraldo, L.D.; Belo, L.P. Modelling the Origin, Fate, and Ecological and Health Impacts of Heavy Metals from an Abandoned Mercury Mine in a Paradise Island in the Philippines. Preprints 2022, 2022030205 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202203.0205.v1). Diwa, R.R.; Deocaris, C.C.; Geraldo, L.D.; Belo, L.P. Modelling the Origin, Fate, and Ecological and Health Impacts of Heavy Metals from an Abandoned Mercury Mine in a Paradise Island in the Philippines. Preprints 2022, 2022030205 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202203.0205.v1).

Abstract

A recent survey that determined heavy metal concentrations in an abandoned Hg mine in Palawan, Philippines, found the occurrence of Hg with As, Ba, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sb, Tl, V, and Zn. While the Hg originated from the mine waste calcines as supported by previous studies, the critical knowledge about the origin of the other heavy metals remains to be unknown. Our study investigated the sources of heavy metal pollution surrounding the abandoned Hg mine; and assessed the soil and sediment quality, ecological risks, and health risks associated with these toxic metals. Multivariate analyses, such as hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA), principal component analysis (PCA), and Pearson correlation analysis, were used to identify the heavy metal sources from the results of a previous paper. Our results showed that Fe, Ni, Cr, Co, and Mn are associated with the ultramafic geology of the study, whereas As, Ba, Cd, Cu, Pb, Sb, Tl, V, and Zn are likely due to historical mining and processing of cinnabar from 1953-1976. The mine waste calcines were used as construction material for the wharf and as land filler for the adjacent communities. The modified contamination factor (mCdeg) showed that the coast of Honda Bay is highly contaminated, while the inland areas, including the rivers, are very- to ultra-highly contaminated. There is a considerable ecological risk associated with the heavy metals, wherein Ni, Hg, Cr, and Mn contribute an average of 46.3 %, 26.3 %, 11.2 %, and 9.3 % to the potential ecological risk index (RI), respectively. The overall mean hazard index (HI) for both adults (1.4) and children (12.1) exceeded 1, implying the probability of non-carcinogenic adverse effects. The mean total cancer risk over a lifetime (LCR) for both adults (1.19×10-3) and children (2.89×10-3) exceeded the tolerable threshold of 10-4, suggesting a potentially high risk for developing cancer mainly by Ni, Co, and Cr exposure.

Keywords

heavy metals; abandoned mine; soil pollution; potential ecological risk; multivariate analysis; health index; soil; sediments

Subject

EARTH SCIENCES, Environmental Sciences

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