The pollution level of potentially toxic elements (PTEs) in surface soils is detrimental to the ecosystem and human health. In this research, various indices such as an index of geo-accumulation (Igeo), contamination factor (CF), degree of contamination (DC), and principal component analysis (PCA) were implemented to identify and evaluate the soil PTEs pollution; and then human health risk assessment model used to establish the link between heavy metals pollution and human health in the urban region of south India. Results exhibited that the mean concentration of Cr, Cu, Ni and Zn were found to be 1.45–6.03 times greater than the geochemical background values. Cr and Cu were the most profuse PTEs measured in the soils. The pollution indices suggest that soil of the study region is mainly moderate to highly polluted. The non-carcinogenic health risk assessment proposed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) suggested the mean hazard indices (HIs) were below one which denotes no significant of non-carcinogenic risks to both children and adults. Furthermore, carcinogenic risk assessment results advised ~80% of cancer risk was caused by Cr contents, while other heavy metals indicate that neither children nor adults in the study region were of carcinogenic risks.
- surface soils
- potentially toxic elements (PTE) contamination
- pollution characteristics
- health risks
- south India