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Print version ISSN 0120-4157


ECHEVERRY, Ghisliane et al. Evaluation of human health risk for a population from Cali, Colombia, by exposure to lead, cadmium, mercury, 2,4-dichloro-phenoxyacetic acid and diuron associated with water and food consumption . Biomédica [online]. 2015, vol.35, n.spe, pp.110-119. ISSN 0120-4157.

Introduction: Exposure to pollutants such as pesticides and heavy metals has been linked to health problems. Several studies have revealed the presence of these contaminants in Cali; however, there is no information available about the main routes of exposure and risk of these contaminants. Objective: To estimate the risk associated with the intake of cadmium, lead and mercury, and pesticides 2,4-D and diuron through the consumption of water and food in a population in Cali. Materials and methods: Population and environmental data were obtained, and a risk assessment was performed using United States Environmental Protection Agency guidelines. Results: The concentrations of the evaluated pollutants were below permissible levels as established by the Colombian Ministerio de Ambiente, Vivienda y Desarrollo Territorial (3 µg/L -1 of cadmium; 10 µg/L -1 of lead; 1 µg/L -1 of mercury; 1 µg/L -1 of 2,4 D; 1 µg/L -1 of diuron). Salema butterfish ( Peprilus snyderi ) samples contained levels of cadmium between 20 and 80 µg/kg -1 , which are below the permissible limit set by the World Health Organization (100 µg/kg -1 ). The results of the risk assessment indicated that the carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic attributable risk to population health from the intake of food contaminants was below the maximum level permitted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Conclusions: It is believed that the findings in previous studies on pollutants may have been due to specific contamination events; therefore, monitoring and early warning about water intake is recommended. Furthermore, the report of cadmium being found in fish consumed as food suggests the need for quality control by regulators.

Keywords : Risk assessment; public health; pesticide exposure; food contamination; water pollution; metals; heavy.

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