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Arsenic in Latin America: A critical overview on the geochemistry of arsenic originating from geothermal features and volcanic emissions for solving its environmental consequences
RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Digital Systems. University of Southern Queensland, Australia.
University of Southern Queensland, Australia.
University of Southern Queensland, Australia.
Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada, Mexico.
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2020 (English)In: Science of the Total Environment, ISSN 0048-9697, E-ISSN 1879-1026, article id 135564Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Geothermal fluids and volcanic emissions are important sources of arsenic (As), resulting in elevated concentrations of As in ground-, surface-water and soil, which may adversely affect the environment. Arsenic originating from geothermal features and volcanic activities is common in Latin America forming a serious threat to the livelihoods of millions of people. This review attempts to provide a critical overview of the geochemistry of As originating from these sources in Latin America to understand what information exists about and what future research needs to be undertaken. This study evaluated 15 countries in Latin America. In total, 423 sites were characterized with As originating from geothermal sources, mostly related to present volcanic activity (0.001 < As<73 mg/L, mean: 36.5 mg/L) and the transboundary Guarani Aquifer System (0.001 < As<0.114 mg/L, mean: 0.06 mg/L). Many of the geothermal systems and volcanoes discussed in this study are close to densely populated cities, including Bogota, Managua, San José, Guatemala City and Mexico City, where total As concentrations in natural ground- and surface- water exceed the safe drinking water guideline of 0.01 mg/L, recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). However, the wide geographical occurrence of As in geothermal fluids and volcanic emissions of this region is by far not fully understood, so that development of geographical maps based on geographic information system (GIS) is an urgent necessity to understand the real nature of the problem. The assessment of environmental risks and the potential impacts on human health both inadequate and scarce and hence, these gaps need to be addressed by future research. The present holistic assessment of As originating from geothermal features and volcanic emissions would be a driving force to formulate a plan for establishing a sustainable As mitigation in vulnerable areas of Latin America in the near future. An assessment of the geochemistry, mobility and distribution of As would augment the effectiveness of the plan.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier B.V. , 2020. article id 135564
Keywords [en]
Environmental impacts, Geochemistry, Geogenic contaminants, Geothermal systems, Volcanic emissions, Water resources, Aquifers, Arsenic, Environmental impact, Geothermal fields, Health risks, Potable water, Risk assessment, Soil pollution, Surface waters, Volcanoes, Elevated concentrations, Environmental consequences, Geogenic, Safe drinking water, Volcanic activities, Volcanic emission, World Health Organization, Geothermal water resources
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-43362DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.135564Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85077548112OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ri-43362DiVA, id: diva2:1389384
Note

Funding text 1: We want to thank Alberto Manganelli (CeReGAS), Valeria Delgado Q. (CIRA/UNAM, Managua), Hugo Estrada (University of El Salvador) and Lorenzo Brusca (INGV) for their helpful contribution with comments, figures and data during the elaboration of this manuscript, as well as Silvana Hidalgo (Ecuador), Bernardo Beate (Ecuador), Viviana Burbano (Colombia) and Zoraida Chac?n (Colombia) for field work. We also thank the comments of the anonymous reviewers during the revision of the manuscript.

Available from: 2020-01-29 Created: 2020-01-29 Last updated: 2020-01-29Bibliographically approved

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