Heavy metal pollution assessment, source identification, and health risk evaluation in Aibi Lake of northwest China



This study sought to analyze heavy metal (Pb, Zn, Cu, Ni, Mn, and Fe) pollution status in the waters of Aibi Lake in northwest China through the use of an applied comprehensive pollution index, health risk model, and multivariate statistical analyses in combination with the lake’s land use types. Results showed that (1) the maximum (average) values of the heavy metals Pb, Zn, Cu, Ni, Mn, and Fe were 0.0644 (0.0123), 0.0006 (0.0002), 0.0009 (0.0032), 0.1235 (0.0242), 0.0061 (0.0025), and 0.0222 (0.0080) μg/L, respectively. Among these, in all the samples, Pb and Ni exceeded the standard and acceptable values put forth by the World Health Organization by 21.13 and 25.67%, respectively. Ni also exceeded (30.16%) the third grade of the Environmental Quality Standards for Surface Water of China. The levels of the six heavy metals were all within the fishery and irrigation water quality standard ranges in China. (2) The average values for single pollution index of heavy metals Pb, Zn, Cu, Ni, Mn, and Fe were 1.000, 0.0006, 0.0009, 3.000, 0.060, and 0.070, respectively, among which Ni levels indicated moderate to significant pollution, while others indicated healthy levels. (3) Health risk evaluation showed that the Rn values for Pb, Zn, Cu, Mn, and Fe were 1.8 × 10−4, 5.33 × 10−9, 4.80 × 10−7, 1.08 × 10−6, and 2.51 × 10−7 a−1, respectively, of which, in all samples, Pb and Ni contents all exceeded the maximum acceptable risk levels according to the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) as well as the U.S. Environment Protection Agency. (4) Combining with multivariate statistical analyses along with the land use distribution within the lake basin, Pb, Zn, Cu, Ni, and Mn were mainly influenced by the agriculture production and emission from urban lives and traffics, and Fe mainly originated from the natural environment. The results of this research can provide reference values for heavy metal pollution prevention in Aibi Lake as well as for environmental protection of rump lakes in the arid regions of northwest China and Central Asia.


Pollution assessment Health risk evaluation Source identification Heavy metals Aibi Lake, northwest China 



This study was supported by the joint fund of National Natural Science Foundation of China of the Government of Xinjiang Autonomous Region (No. U1603241), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41501541), the High-level Talent Introduction Program of Xinjiang Autonomous Region (2016), Doctoral startup fund of Xinjiang University (No. 62346), and Scientific research startup project for college teachers of Xinjiang Autonomous Region (2017).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhang Zhaoyong
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yang Xiaodong
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yang Shengtian
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.College of Resource and Environment Sciences/Key Laboratory of Smart City and Environmental Modeling of Regular Institutions of Higher LearningXinjiang UniversityUrumqiPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Oasis EcologyMinistry of EducationUrumqiPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.College of Water SciencesBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Beijing Key Laboratory for Remote Sensing of Environment and Digital Cities, School of GeographyBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  5. 5.Beijing Key Laboratory of Urban Hydrology Cycle and Sponge City TechnologyBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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