Assessment of health risks and individuals’ willingness to participate in drinking water management at flood-prone Pahang River Basin, Malaysia

Alam, Lubna and Rahman, Labonnah Farzana and Ahmed, Minhaz Farid and Bari, Md. Azizul and Masud, Muhammad Mehedi and Mokhtar, Mazlin Bin (2021) Assessment of health risks and individuals’ willingness to participate in drinking water management at flood-prone Pahang River Basin, Malaysia. Environmental Geochemistry and Health, 43 (5). pp. 2049-2063. ISSN 0269-4042, DOI

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Rivers, the main source of the domestic water supply in Malaysia, have been threatened by frequent flooding in recent years. This study aims to assess human health risks associated with exposure to concentrated heavy metals in a flood-prone region of Malaysia and investigate the affected individuals' willingness to participate in managing water resources. Hazard indices and cancer risks associated with water contamination by heavy metals have been assessed following the method prescribed by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Yearly data of heavy metal contamination (Cd, Cr, Pb, Zn, Fe), water quality parameters (DO, BOD, COD, pH), and climatic information (annual rainfall, annual temperature) have been collected from the Department of Environment and Meteorological Department of Malaysia, respectively. The inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry technique has been used by the department of environment for analyzing heavy metal concentration in river water samples. In this study, data from a stratified random sample of households in the affected region were analyzed, using partial least squares structural equation modeling, to predict the link between individuals' perceptions and attitudes about water resources and their willingness to engage in water management program. The health risk estimation indicated that the hazard index values were below the acceptable limit, representing no non-carcinogenic risk to adults and children residing in the study area via oral intake and dermal adsorption of water. However, the calculated value for cancer risk signified possible carcinogenic risks associated with Pb and Cd. In general, contamination due to pollution and flooding tends to increase in the basin region, and appropriate management is needed. The results identified perceived water quality as a significant factor influencing people's attitudes toward involvement in water management programs. As in many developing countries, there is no legal provision guaranteeing public representation in water management in Malaysia. The conclusion discusses the importance of these for the literature and for informing future policy actions.

Item Type: Article
Funders: Austrian Science Fund (FWF), Ministry of Education, Malaysia (TRGS/1/2015/UKM/02/5/2)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Water quality; Human health; Heavy metal; Flood-prone; Resources management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Economics & Administration
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2022 01:20
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2022 01:32

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