Potential Health Risk of Heavy Metals in Malaysia

  • Nobumitsu Sakai
  • Minoru Yoneda


This chapter summarized the pollution of heavy metals in the atmospheric and water environment in Peninsular Malaysia, and potential health risks caused by the chronic exposure of the heavy metals were assessed. Heavy metals such as arsenic and lead were detected in suspended particulate matters, and the pollution sources were identified mainly from motor vehicles and biomass burning. The heavy metals were widely detected in surface and groundwater and accumulated in coastal areas especially near urban regions due to anthropogenic sources. Furthermore, contaminations of naturally deposited heavy metals especially from former tin mining ponds and gold mining areas were concerned. The heavy metals were detected in various freshwater and marine species, and the contamination levels of mercury and arsenic in local population were indicated at concerned levels. The assessment of potential non-cancer risks caused by the consumption of local fish showed that some population could be threatened by the chronic exposure of arsenic and mercury.


Heavy metal pollution Peninsular Malaysia Pollution source Food contamination Health risk assessment 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental Engineering, Graduate School of EngineeringKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Environmental EngineeringKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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