Heavy metals (HMs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are among the most toxic chemical pollutants present in urban stormwater. Consequently, urban stormwater reuse is constrained due to the human health risk posed by these pollutants. This study developed a scientifically robust approach to assess the risk to human health posed by HMs and PAHs in urban stormwater in order to enhance its reuse. Accordingly, an innovative methodology was created consisting of four stages: quantification of traffic and land use parameters; estimation of pollutant concentrations for model development; risk assessment, and risk map presentation. This methodology will contribute to catchment scale assessment of the risk associated with urban stormwater and for risk mitigation. The risk map developed provides a simple and efficient approach to identify the critical areas within a large catchment. The study also found that heavy molecular weight PAHs (PAHs with 5–6 benzene rings) in urban stormwater pose higher risk to human health compared to light molecular PAHs (PAHs with 2–4 benzene rings). These outcomes will facilitate the development of practical approaches for applying appropriate mitigation measures for the safe management of urban stormwater pollution and for the identification of enhanced reuse opportunities.
Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety – Elsevier
Published: Oct 1, 2017
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