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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017 Jul 28;14(8). pii: E846. doi: 10.3390/ijerph14080846.

Human Health Risk Assessment Applied to Rural Populations Dependent on Unregulated Drinking Water Sources: A Scoping Review.

Author information

1
School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Saskatchewan, 117 Science Place, Saskatoon SK S7N 5C8, Canada. lorelei.ford@usask.ca.
2
School of Public Health, University of Saskatchewan, 107 Wiggins Road, Saskatoon SK S7N 2Z4, Canada. lalita.bharadwaj@usask.ca.
3
Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, 52 Campus Drive, Saskatoon SK S7N 5B4, Canada. lianne.mcleod@usask.ca.
4
Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, 52 Campus Drive, Saskatoon SK S7N 5B4, Canada. cheryl.waldner@usask.ca.

Abstract

Safe drinking water is a global challenge for rural populations dependent on unregulated water. A scoping review of research on human health risk assessments (HHRA) applied to this vulnerable population may be used to improve assessments applied by government and researchers. This review aims to summarize and describe the characteristics of HHRA methods, publications, and current literature gaps of HHRA studies on rural populations dependent on unregulated or unspecified drinking water. Peer-reviewed literature was systematically searched (January 2000 to May 2014) and identified at least one drinking water source as unregulated (21%) or unspecified (79%) in 100 studies. Only 7% of reviewed studies identified a rural community dependent on unregulated drinking water. Source water and hazards most frequently cited included groundwater (67%) and chemical water hazards (82%). Most HHRAs (86%) applied deterministic methods with 14% reporting probabilistic and stochastic methods. Publications increased over time with 57% set in Asia, and 47% of studies identified at least one literature gap in the areas of research, risk management, and community exposure. HHRAs applied to rural populations dependent on unregulated water are poorly represented in the literature even though almost half of the global population is rural.

KEYWORDS:

deterministic; drinking water; groundwater; holistic; human health; probabilistic; risk assessment; rural population

PMID:
28788087
PMCID:
PMC5580550
DOI:
10.3390/ijerph14080846
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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