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Cadmium and chromium levels in water and edible herbs in a risk assessment study of rural residents living in Eastern Iran

  • Mohammad Hossein Sayadi
  • Javad Kharkan
  • Lukasz J. Binkowski
  • Mahmoud Moshgani
  • Martyna Błaszczyk
  • Borhan MansouriEmail author
Research Article
  • 15 Downloads

Abstract

In arid and semi-arid regions of Iran, water is supplied by qanats, underground channels where pollution is suspected, but unestablished. The aim of this study was thus to run a risk assessment study regarding the levels of cadmium (Cd) and chromium (Cr) in qanat water and edible herbs (Adiantum capillus-verenis, Chara globularis and Plantago lanceolata) growing in qanats in 14 villages in South Khorasan Province in Iran between April and August 2018. Samples were collected in qanats from the same sampling points, and after mineralization in nitric and perchloric acids were analyzed for metal concentrations by means of atomic absorption spectrometry. Concentrations of Cd and Cr found in water were not high (0.028 and 1.091 μg L−1, respectively) and contamination parameters revealed no pollution. The ingestion rate of water and the exposure frequency to metals were the most relevant variables in the model of a sensitivity analysis, but the Hazard Quotient indicated no risk of non-carcinogenic health problems to consumers of the water. The Carcinogenic Risk parameter suggested, however, that there is a risk of these consumers’ developing cancer. Concentrations found in herbs were higher than in water but remained below permissible thresholds. Hazard Quotient values of three species studied in the case of children and A. capillus-verenis in the case of adults indicated a potential non-carcinogenic health risk linked with eating them. The study reveals that further research to include many of the qanats across Iran should be carried out to verify the scale of the risk suggested.

Graphical abstract

Keywords

Metals Health risk Contamination index Carcinogenic risk Sensitivity analysis 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The contribution of the Department of Environmental Sciences, Birjand University is sincerely appreciated.

Funding information

The authors of this study gratefully acknowledge the Research Council of Birjand University (Grant number 96593) for their financial help.

Supplementary material

11356_2020_7600_MOESM1_ESM.docx (20 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 20 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental Sciences, School of Natural Resources and EnvironmentUniversity of BirjandBirjandIran
  2. 2.Institute of BiologyPedagogical University of KrakowKrakowPoland
  3. 3.Substance Abuse Prevention Research Center, Health InstituteKermanshah University of Medical SciencesKermanshahIran

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