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Title: A profile of arsenic exposure in three environmental contexts
Author: O'Neill, Antonia
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2013
Availability of Full Text:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Thesis embargoed until 01 Dec 2018
The presence of arsenic (As) in the environment has become a popular area of scientific scrutiny over the past three decades due to its toxicity to living organisms at low levels and its potential to become more toxic within the environment. Numerous cases exist where toxic levels of As are present in the environment as a result of anthropogenic activity, such as from the sinking of tubewells, mining activity or the application of agricultural fertilisers, resulting in a scenario where exposure to the contaminant is unknown. The aim of this piece of research was to assess and characterise the potential risk of As exposure in three environmental contexts, where As contamination is sourced from a natural resource and present due to anthropogenic influences. This was fulfilled through: 1) applying geostatistical techniques and research to identify areas of potential As exposure, 2) conducting site-appropriate field studies and laboratory analysis to determine the concentration and distribution of As, and 3) developing a scenario-appropriate risk assessment calculation to determine the potential risk of As exposure at each study site. In each environmental context, the As present only posed a risk when human activity exposed or introduced the contaminant to an environment-human interface. Arsenic is an abundant element and is present in all terrestrial and aquatic systems, thus, there could be an infinite number of potential As exposure scenarios throughout the world. The three environmental contexts that this piece of research is based on were selected in order to provide an insight into the current global As contamination and exposure issues.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available