A significant scientific study conducted by researchers from the CSIR-National Geophysical Research Institute in Hyderabad has unveiled alarming levels of carcinogenic metals in water sources near oil and gas drilling sites in Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh.
The study specifically focused on soil contamination around these East and West Godavari drilling sites, collecting 139 soil samples from various locations. Extensive analysis of the samples revealed the presence of elevated levels of heavy metals such as arsenic, chromium, copper, nickel, lead, and zinc. These findings indicate the existence of both natural sources and anthropogenic contamination, primarily caused by the discharge of backwater waste generated during drilling activities. Furthermore, agricultural practices in the area may also contribute to the presence of heavy metal contamination from anthropogenic sources.
The researchers discovered very high concentrations of arsenic, lead, and chromium in the soil, which could potentially contaminate groundwater, posing a severe threat to human health. Several sampling points demonstrated a high potential risk of arsenic and lead, indicating medium to high levels of chronic and carcinogenic risks.
Their research paper “Spatial Distribution, Sources, and Health Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in Topsoil Around Oil and Natural Gas Drilling Sites, Andhra Pradesh, India” has been published in the esteemed journal Scientific Reports of Nature.’
The research team, consisting of Keshav Krishna Aradhi, Babu Mallesh Dasari, Dasaram Banothu, and Satyanarayanan Manavalan, employed advanced multivariate statistical tools to conduct their analysis.
These findings highlight the urgent need for immediate attention and mitigation measures to address the contamination of water sources near oil and gas drilling sites. Protecting human health and the environment should be the top priority, and comprehensive actions must be taken to prevent further exposure to these harmful carcinogenic metals.
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