Distribution of Arsenic and Risk Assessment of Activities on Soccer Pitches Irrigated with Arsenic-Contaminated Water

Nadia Martínez-Villegas, Abraham Hernández, Diana Meza-Figueroa, Bhaskar Sen Gupta

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10 Citations (Scopus)
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The aim of this research was to estimate the risk of human exposure to arsenic due to sporting activities in a private soccer club in Mexico, where arsenic-contaminated water was regularly used for irrigation. For this purpose, the total concentration in the topsoil was considered for risk assessment. This was accomplished through three main objectives: (1) measuring arsenic concentrations in irrigation water and irrigated soils, (2) determining arsenic spatial distribution in shallow soils with Geographical Information Systems (GIS) using geostatistical analysis, and (3) collecting field and survey data to develop a risk assessment calculation for soccer activities in the soccer club. The results showed that the average arsenic concentrations in shallow soils (138.1 mg/kg) were 6.2 times higher than the Mexican threshold for domestic soils (22 mg/kg). Furthermore, dermal contact between exposed users and contaminated soils accounted for a maximum carcinogenic risk value of 1.8 × 10−5, which is one order of magnitude higher than the recommended risk value, while arsenic concentrations in the irrigation water were higher (6 mg/L) than the WHO’s permissible threshold in drinking water, explaining the contamination of soils after irrigation. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first risk study regarding dermal contact with arsenic following regular grass irrigation with contaminated water in soccer pitches
Original languageEnglish
Article number1060
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number6
Early online date24 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


  • arsenic
  • water
  • soccer fields
  • soil
  • irrigation
  • risk characterization


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