Integrated probabilistic risk assessment in sites contaminated with arsenic and lead by long-term mining liabilities in San Luis Potosi, Mexico Article uri icon


  • Mining environmental liabilities (MEL) in San Luis Potosi are the result of more than 450 years of mining activity, which has contaminated the soil mainly with arsenic (As) and lead (Pb) in several areas. Risk assessments are used to estimate the possibility of the occurrence of adverse effects on human health or on ecological receptors; and the most accessible way of performing them is through probabilistic estimates such as the Latin Hypercube Sampling (LHS) model. Therefore, the aim of this study was to carry out an Integrated Probabilistic Environmental Risk Assessment (IPERA) for the estimation of health risks in infants and rodents. The mean concentrations of As and Pb in soil were significantly higher (p<0.05) in all contaminated sites than in their respective reference sites. Villa de la Paz was the site with the highest mean concentration of As (1374 mg/kg), while Charcas was the one with the highest level of Pb (12,929 mg/kg). The Hazard Quotient (HQ) was calculated and Villa de la Paz had the highest values of As in both rodents (11.994) and children (39.32), and Charcas showed the highest values of Pb in both (24.971 and 31.668 for rodents and children respectively). The cumulative hazard Index (HI) reveals there is a very significant health risk due to As and Pb exposure for both rodents and children in contaminated areas of these mining communities. © 2020 Elsevier Inc.

publication date

  • 2020-01-01