The shipwrecking yard (SWY) in Bangladesh is now a significant industry. It is one of the rapidly developing industrial sectors in Bangladesh with enormous employment opportunities and provided 80-90% of the total steel usage in the country. The yard uses a more dangerous open beaching method to dismantle the end of life (EOL) ships to recover valuable materials such as scrap iron, steel, aluminum, heavy metals, and their alloys, etc. for recycling and reuse. Shipwrecking activities can cause serious environmental contamination due to improper waste disposal. Contaminants such as heavy metals, PAHs, PCBs, asbestos, etc., especially mixed metal/loid (s) may enter the food chain and drinking water, leading to potential health risks to the surrounding population. The study aims to conduct a  risk assessment of shipwrecking activities by measuring the mixed metal/loid (s) in the food chain and drinking water near the SWY. To this end, environmental (soil, groundwater), foods (rice, vegetables, and fish), and biological (human urine) samples were collected. Evaluation of the exposure to the mixed metal/loid (s) in residents is conducted using validated ICP-MS methods. The results of the urinary metal/loid study showed significant anthropogenic intrusions of cadmium, molybdenum, selenium, and lead likely due to the chronic exposure to environmental and food contamination via the shipwrecking activities. The study revealed that elevated urinary levels of cadmium, arsenic, molybdenum, selenium, and lead were found in a significant portion of the local population (55-81%) compared to that of the control group (p<0.001) or other countries reference values, along with, a lesser contribution of demographic characteristics on the levels. In summary, shipwrecking activities in Bangladesh may be one of the most dangerous environmental hazards threatening the health of local peoples owing to improper waste disposal resulting in environmental and food-web contaminations by mixed metals.

I have a Bachelor of Science (with Honors) and Master of Science (Thesis: environmental toxicology) degree in Applied Chemistry and Chemical Technology from Rajshahi University, Bangladesh. I have also Master of Philosophy degree in Chemistry from Chittagong University, Bangladesh. I started my PhD journey in January 2019. Prior to joining QAEHS, I was employed as a permanent faculty member at Chittagong University and engaged in several projects on environmental pollution from ship recycling wastes which involved meticulous investigation and quantitative research. I have a strong interest in heavy metal/loid (s) contamination in environmental matrices from ship wrecking wastes, particularly their bioavailability, transfer via food chain from the wastes and carcinogenicity studies (under toxicological approach) which focus on human health risks.



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