AT6FUI: Arsenic Pollution in the Bajo Lempa Region
Ribo A. (Pres), Mejia R., Quinteros E., Lopez. A. Orantes C. Jovel R. Valladares E., Lopez, D.
Presentation: 29.10.2013, 10:45 am [Video]
Discussion: 29.10.2013, 11:00 am [Discussion]
Arsenic is a metalloid whose toxic properties can be a serious human and environmental health. Arsenic is a human carcinogen and is related to several diseases as, for example nephropathies. In El Salvador, the environmental risk characterization is essential for the high rate of tubular-interstitial chronic kidney disease of Central America (ERTCC), which affects predominantly agricultural communities of the Pacific. The main objective of this study is to characterize the contamination of Arsenic in soil, water and sediment of the Ciudad Romero, a community from Bajo Lempa region (El Salvador, CA). El Bajo Lempa is close to the Lempa river mouth. Lempa River is the longest river in Central America and drains the most populated and industrial areas of the El Salvador and it is an extensive agricultural area that expands in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. The population of Ciudad Romero is mainly engaged in agriculture and its social vulnerability is high due to its high levels of poverty. Moreover, in Ciudad Romero there is a high prevalence of cases of ERTCC. The results obtained in several environmental phases show significant pollution of Arsenic, especially in soils and groundwater. Cultivated areas have statistically higher concentrations of As, suggesting a relationship with agriculture. The origin of this pollution can be natural, derived from the volcanic rocks, hydrothermal waters or can be anthropogenic derived from the pollution drained by Rio Lempa and/or can be derived from the residues of chemicals used in the region.