This study was conducted to assess the accumulation and sources of harmful metals and associated public health risk from the usage of underground mine water of Barapukuria coal mine in Bangladesh, keeping in mind the optimum reuse. Thirty underground mine water samples had been analyzed for assessing temperature, pH, EC, TC, DO, BOD, COD, Ca, K, S, Ti, Mn, V, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Br, Rb, Sr, and Pb. Numerous pollution evaluation and health risk assessment indices along with multivariate statistical tools were employed in this study to apprise the pollution scenario, controlling factors, and probable health risk. The chronic or persistent health risk of metals via oral and dermal exposure of adults and children was determined using the hazard quotient (HQ) and hazard index (HI). The results showed that the content of physicochemical parameters and potentially harmful elements in water samples was many folds higher than the national and international standards. The results of pollution evaluation indices indicate that coal seam-leached mine water is highly concentrated by potentially harmful metals and not suitable for drinking, agriculture, and aquatic lives. The correlation coefficients and multivariate analysis illustrate both the geological and anthropogenic factors controlling the variability of metals in mine water. Results of HQoral value suggest that V, Co, and Pb are significant health risk for adults and Mn, V, Co, Cu, and Pb are for children. Vanadium is found potential for dermal effects, and HIdermal value directs 33%, and 70% samples exceed the safe limit for adults and children, respectively. The HI value suggests that oral exposure to harmful metals creates more harm than dermal absorption, and children are more vulnerable than adults. It is anticipated that the outcomes of this study would deliver expedient insights to initiate necessary steps to minimize the public health risk by applying appropriate environmental protocols.
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