Health Risk Assessment of Arsenic in the Drinking Water of Upper Sindh, Pakistan


  • N. U. H. Shar Institute of Chemistry, Shah Abdul Latif University, Pakistan
  • G. Q. Shar Institute of Chemistry, Shah Abdul Latif University, Pakistan
  • A. R. Shar Institute of Chemistry, Shah Abdul Latif University, Pakistan
  • S. M. Wassan Department of Community Medicine, Ghulam Muhammad Mahar Medical College Sukkur, Pakistan
  • Z. Q. Bhatti Department of Physics, Shah Abdul Latif University, Pakistan
  • A. Ali Department of Computer Science, Shah Abdul Latif University, Pakistan
Volume: 11 | Issue: 5 | Pages: 7558-7563 | October 2021 |


Water is a valuable compound for plants, animals, and humans. Various contaminating agents pollute it, with arsenic being one of them. Measurements of arsenic in potable water in Upper Sindh were conducted during this study. The samples were prepared by microwave-assisted digestion and analyzed by an atomic absorption spectrophotometer. A total of 240 potable water samples were collected from 8 Talukas of Upper Sindh. DMS coordinates were also recorded with the help of the Global Positioning System (GPS). The highest arsenic content of 50µg/L was observed in Garhi Khairo Taluka. The average arsenic content in water samples of all of the Talukas, except Miro Khan, was found higher than the WHO permissible limit. The 69.2% of samples were found to be contaminated by arsenic. Therefore, the water of the studied area is concluded to be in poor condition for cooking and drinking.


arsenic, upper Sindh, atomic absorption spectrophotometer, water health risk assessment


Download data is not yet available.


S. Sher and A. Rehman, "Use of heavy metals resistant bacteria—a strategy for arsenic bioremediation," Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, vol. 103, no. 15, pp. 6007–6021, Aug. 2019.

A. N. Chowdhury et al., "Arsenic in freshwater ecosystems of the Bengal delta: status, sources and seasonal variability," Toxicological & Environmental Chemistry, vol. 97, no. 5, pp. 538–551, May 2015.

R. Foroutan et al., "Efficient arsenic(V) removal from contaminated water using natural clay and clay composite adsorbents," Environmental Science and Pollution Research, vol. 26, no. 29, pp. 29748–29762, Oct. 2019.

J. Tapia, J. Murray, M. Ormachea, N. Tirado, and D. K. Nordstrom, "Origin, distribution, and geochemistry of arsenic in the Altiplano-Puna plateau of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, and Perú," Science of The Total Environment, vol. 678, pp. 309–325, Aug. 2019.

X. Wan, M. Lei, and T. Chen, "Review on remediation technologies for arsenic-contaminated soil," Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering, vol. 14, no. 2, Dec. 2019, Art. no. 24.

S. Rai, D. Singh, and A. K. Singh, in Mycoremediation of Arsenic from Contaminated Soil for Sustainable Agriculture, New Delhi, India: Todya & Tomorrow’s Printers and Publishers, 2020, pp. 575–591.

E. Shaji, M. Santosh, K. V. Sarath, P. Prakash, V. Deepchand, and B. V. Divya, "Arsenic contamination of groundwater: A global synopsis with focus on the Indian Peninsula," Geoscience Frontiers, vol. 12, no. 3, May 2021, Art. no. 101079.

S. Bolisetty, M. Peydayesh, and R. Mezzenga, "Sustainable technologies for water purification from heavy metals: review and analysis," Chemical Society Reviews, vol. 48, no. 2, pp. 463–487, Jan. 2019.

K. Khan et al., "Prevalent fecal contamination in drinking water resources and potential health risks in Swat, Pakistan," Journal of Environmental Sciences, vol. 72, pp. 1–12, Oct. 2018.

S. O. Olasoji, N. O. Oyewole, B. Abiola, and J. N. Edokpayi, "Water Quality Assessment of Surface and Groundwater Sources Using a Water Quality Index Method: A Case Study of a Peri-Urban Town in Southwest, Nigeria," Environments, vol. 6, no. 2, Feb. 2019, Art. no. 23.

D. Wang, J. Wu, Y. Wang, and Y. Ji, "Finding High-Quality Groundwater Resources to Reduce the Hydatidosis Incidence in the Shiqu County of Sichuan Province, China: Analysis, Assessment, and Management," Exposure and Health, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 307–322, Jun. 2020.

H. Rajkumar, P. K. Naik, and M. S. Rishi, "A new indexing approach for evaluating heavy metal contamination in groundwater," Chemosphere, vol. 245, Apr. 2020, Art. no. 125598.

M. Shahid, C. Dumat, N. Khan Niazi, S. Khalid, and Natasha, "Global scale arsenic pollution : increase the scientific knowledge to reduce human exposure," VertigO - la revue électronique en sciences de l’environnement, no. Hors-série 31, Sep. 2018.

M. Ozturk et al., "Arsenic and Human Health: Genotoxicity, Epigenomic Effects, and Cancer Signaling," Biological Trace Element Research, Apr. 2021.

M. Costa, "Review of arsenic toxicity, speciation and polyadenylation of canonical histones," Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, vol. 375, pp. 1–4, Jul. 2019.

D. Mohan and C. U. Pittman, "Arsenic removal from water/wastewater using adsorbents—A critical review," Journal of Hazardous Materials, vol. 142, no. 1, pp. 1–53, Apr. 2007.

S. Ali, "Heavy Downpour Event over upper Sindh in September, 2012," Pakistan Journal of Meteorology, vol. 9, no. 18, pp. 59–72, 2013.

A. R. Shar, G. Q. Shar, W. B. Jatoi, N.-U.-H. Shar, L. A. Shar, and W. M. Ghouri, "Assessment of the quality of drinking water of Thari Mirwah Town and surrounding villages, District Khairpur, Sindh, Pakistan," Pakistan Journal of Analytical & Environmental Chemistry, vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 39–59, 2014.

J. B. Fisher, K. P. Tu, and D. D. Baldocchi, "Global estimates of the land–atmosphere water flux based on monthly AVHRR and ISLSCP-II data, validated at 16 FLUXNET sites," Remote Sensing of Environment, vol. 112, no. 3, pp. 901–919, Mar. 2008.

D. Guven and G. Akinci, "Comparison of acid digestion techniques to determine heavy metals in sediment and soil samples," Gazi University Journal of Science, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 29–34, Jan. 2011.

I. S. Khalid and A. A. Khaver, Political Economy of Water Pollution in Pakistan: An Overview. Islamabad, Pakistan: Sustainable Development Policy Institute, 2019.

A. Kumar and C. K. Singh, "Arsenic enrichment in groundwater and associated health risk in Bari doab region of Indus basin, Punjab, India," Environmental Pollution, vol. 256, Jan. 2020, Art. no. 113324.

F. Rehman et al., "Groundwater quality and potential health risks caused by arsenic (As) in Bhakkar, Pakistan," Environmental Earth Sciences, vol. 79, no. 24, Nov. 2020, Art. no. 529.

A. Shahab, S. Qi, and M. Zaheer, "Arsenic contamination, subsequent water toxicity, and associated public health risks in the lower Indus plain, Sindh province, Pakistan," Environmental Science and Pollution Research, vol. 26, no. 30, pp. 30642–30662, Oct. 2019.

A. Shar et al., "Quality Characteristics and Risk Assessment of Arsenic in Drinking Water of Different Villages of District Sujawal, Sindh, Pakistan," International Journal of Biosciences (IJB), vol. 17, no. 3, pp. 287–294, Jun. 2020.

A. R. Shar, G. Q. Shar, S. M. Wassan, Z. Bhatti, A. A. Shar, and N.-H. Shar, "Risk Assessment of Arsenic and Cadmium in Groundwater of Talukas Ghorabari and Mirpur Sakro, Sindh, Pakistan," Pakistan Journal of Analytical & Environmental Chemistry, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 100–114, Jun. 2021.

A. Shar et al., "Risk assessment of arsenic and heavy metals of drinking water in coastal area: Case for Taluka Keti Bandar, Sindh, Pakistan," Journal of Biodiversity and Environmental Sciences, vol. 16, no. 6, pp. 52–64, Aug. 2020.

M. A. Jakhrani, A. J. Chaudhray, K. M. Malik, M. Q. Mazari, A. A. Jakhrani, and M. ul-Hassan, "Determination of Arsenic and Other Heavy Metals in Hand Pump and Tube-Well Ground Water of Khairpur, Sindh, Pakistan," in Second International Conference on Environmental and Computer Science, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Dec. 2009, pp. 271–276.

M. A. Jakhrani, K. M. Malik, S. Sahito, and A. A. Jakhrani, "Analytical Investigation of Arsenic and Iron in hand pump and tube-well groundwater of Gambat, Sindh, Pakistan," Pakistan Journal Chemistry, vol. 1, no. 3, pp. 140–144, 2011.

A. J. Kandhro, N. A. Samoon, and J. H. Laghari, "Assessment of arsenic and essential metal ions in the quality of groundwater sources of Taluka Daur, District Shaheed Benazeer Abad, Sindh, Pakistan," Journal of Peoples University of Medical & Health Sciences, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 1–8, 2016.

A. Memon, G. Lund, N. Channa, S. Shah, M. Younis, and F. Buriro, "Contaminants Exposure and Impacts on Drinking Water of Johi Subdivision of Sindh, Pakistan," Science Letters, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 78–83, Jan. 2016.

G. Rubab, S. Naseem, A. Khan, V. Husain, and G. M. Arain, "Distribution and sources of arsenic contaminated groundwater in parts of Thatta district, Sindh," Journal of Himalayan Earth Sciences, vol. 47, no. 2, pp. 175–183, 2014.

J. A. Baig et al., "Evaluation of arsenic and other physico-chemical parameters of surface and ground water of Jamshoro, Pakistan," Journal of Hazardous Materials, vol. 166, no. 2, pp. 662–669, Jul. 2009.

M. Abbas and K. J. Cheema, "Arsenic levels in drinking water and associated health risk in district Sheikhupura, Pakistan," The Journal of Animal & Plant Sciences, vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 719–724, 2015.

M. T. Mahar, M. Y. Khuhawar, T. M. Jahangir, and M. A. Baloch, "Determination of arsenic contents in groundwater of District Rahim Yar Khan Southern Punjab, Pakistan," Arabian Journal of Geosciences, vol. 8, no. 12, pp. 10983–10994, Dec. 2015.

R. T. Nickson, J. M. McArthur, B. Shrestha, T. O. Kyaw-Myint, and D. Lowry, "Arsenic and other drinking water quality issues, Muzaffargarh District, Pakistan," Applied Geochemistry, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 55–68, Jan. 2005.

M. A. Malana and M. A. Khosa, "Groundwater pollution with special focus on arsenic, Dera Ghazi Khan-Pakistan," Journal of Saudi Chemical Society, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 39–47, Jan. 2011.

T. A. Chandio, M. N. Khan, M. T. Muhammad, O. Yalcinkaya, A. A. Wasim, and A. F. Kayis, "Fluoride and arsenic contamination in drinking water due to mining activities and its impact on local area population," Environmental Science and Pollution Research, vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 2355–2368, Jan. 2021.

P. Bhattacharya et al., "Health risk assessment of co-occurrence of toxic fluoride and arsenic in groundwater of Dharmanagar region, North Tripura (India)," Groundwater for Sustainable Development, vol. 11, Oct. 2020, Art. no. 100430.

M. Sanjrani, B. Zhou, H. Zhao, S. Bhutto, A. Muneer, and S. Xia, "Arsenic contaminated groundwater in China and its treatment options, a review," Applied Ecology and Environmental Research, vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 1655–1683, Feb. 2019.

H. A. Jawadi, H. A. Malistani, M. A. Moheghy, and J. Sagin, "Essential Trace Elements and Arsenic in Thermal Springs, Afghanistan," Water, vol. 13, no. 2, Jan. 2021, Art. no. 134.

H.-J. Lin, T.-I. Sung, C.-Y. Chen, and H.-R. Guo, "Arsenic levels in drinking water and mortality of liver cancer in Taiwan," Journal of Hazardous Materials, vol. 262, pp. 1132–1138, Nov. 2013.

E. Zkeri, M. Aloupi, and P. Gaganis, "Natural Occurrence of Arsenic in Groundwater from Lesvos Island, Greece," Water, Air, & Soil Pollution, vol. 226, no. 9, Aug. 2015, Art. no. 294.

N. Saha, Md. Bodrud-Doza, A. R. M. T. Islam, B. A. Begum, and M. S. Rahman, "Hydrogeochemical evolution of shallow and deeper aquifers in central Bangladesh: arsenic mobilization process and health risk implications from the potable use of groundwater," Environmental Earth Sciences, vol. 79, no. 20, Oct. 2020, Art. no. 477.

M. Berg, H. C. Tran, T. C. Nguyen, H. V. Pham, R. Schertenleib, and W. Giger, "Arsenic Contamination of Groundwater and Drinking Water in Vietnam: A Human Health Threat," Environmental Science & Technology, vol. 35, no. 13, pp. 2621–2626, Jul. 2001.

S. Gwachha, B. N. Acharya, A. Dhakal, S. M. Shrestha, and T. P. Joshi, "Assessment of Arsenic Content in Deep Groundwater of Kathmandu Valley, Nepal," Nepal Journal of Science and Technology, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 69–77, Jul. 2020.

K. Phan, S. Sthiannopkao, and K.-W. Kim, "Surveillance on chronic arsenic exposure in the Mekong River basin of Cambodia using different biomarkers," International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, vol. 215, no. 1, pp. 51–58, Dec. 2011.

X. J. Guo, Y. Fujino, S. Kaneko, K. Wu, Y. Xia, and T. Yoshimura, "Arsenic contamination of groundwater and prevalence of arsenical dermatosis in the Hetao plain area, Inner Mongolia, China," in Molecular Mechanisms of Metal Toxicity and Carcinogenesis, X. Shi, V. Castranova, V. Vallyathan, and W. G. Perry, Eds. Boston, MA, USA: Springer, 2001, pp. 137–140.

N.-K. Bhatti, S. R. Samo, A. Saand, M. A. Keerio, and A. A. Bhuriro, "Ground Water Quality Assessment of Daur Taluka, Shaheed Benazir Abad," Engineering, Technology and Applied Science Research, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 2785–2789, Apr. 2018.


How to Cite

N. U. H. Shar, G. Q. Shar, A. R. Shar, S. M. Wassan, Z. Q. Bhatti, and A. Ali, “Health Risk Assessment of Arsenic in the Drinking Water of Upper Sindh, Pakistan”, Eng. Technol. Appl. Sci. Res., vol. 11, no. 5, pp. 7558–7563, Oct. 2021.


Abstract Views: 60
PDF Downloads: 51

Metrics Information
Bookmark and Share

Most read articles by the same author(s)