A preliminary study of heavy metals pollution risk in water
- 193 Downloads
This study seeks to find out the risk of heavy metal pollution in domestic water on human health. The size of samples was 50 domestic water, 50 urine, and 50 blood samples taken from subjects chosen of the different four districts during 2017. Trace metal analysis was done using atomic absorption spectrophotometer. The results showed alarming levels of heavy metal contamination that exceed national and international thresholds in several observed sites. Therefore, stricter standards may be needed in order to reduce overall population exposure.
KeywordsWater Patients Urine Trace elements AAS
Subjects and methods
Group 1 included 40 subjects (27 males and 13 females) drinking the water of ground origin with a mean age of 41.73 ± 4.02 as a main group.
Group 2 included ten subjects (five males and five females) drinking the water of surface origin with a mean age of 40.87 ± 5.59 as a control group.
Districts and number of samples
No. of water samples and origin
No. of urine samples
No. of blood samples
Mean age ± SD
41.73 ± 4.02
40.87 ± 5.59
Four heavy metals, lead (Pb), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), and cadmium (Cd), were analyzed in domestic water and urine samples using graphite furnace AAS. All reagents and devices were checked beforehand for any kind of contamination with these trace elements. Blood samples (10 ml) were subjected to laboratory assessment of liver functions, kidney functions, and complete blood count on auto-analyzer and Coulter counter, Beckman Instrument Inc., USA. The results were compared with the permissible limits of EMH (2007) and WHO (2017) standards for drinking water and kit references.
Statistical analysis was done for all samples by SPSS program.
Results and discussion
High levels of heavy metals in water samples
High levels of heavy metals in urine samples
Iyengar GV, 1985 median reference
Blood sample values expressed as mean ± SD
1.30 ± 0.29
52.05 ± 7.09
22.12 ± 4.05
1.3 ± 0.18
14.83 ± 0.59
6.7 × 106
9 × 103
0.43 ± 0.03
23.89 ± 3.67
20.09 ± 4.01
0.56 ± 0.12
13.55 ± 0.77
5.5 × 106
7 × 103
Positive correlation exists between cadmium, manganese, lead, and iron for both water and urine samples in the study area. It means there is a source of pollution that increases these heavy elements’ concentration in water. The presence of Pb, Cd, Mn, and Fe in the study area could attribute to the anthropogenic origin. In this paper, the drinking water health risk assessment of heavy elements in this region is preliminary.
An immediate and sustainable collective action to control the pollution level is highly recommended, as this issue poses a severe public health threat. The results of this study may be limited due to small sample size; however, it can be considered as a starting point for a larger study later.
I wish to thank the study participants for their contribution to the research.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
Consent of the patients for samples was obtained before enrolling in the study.
- Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) (2012) Toxicological profile for manganese. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Atlanta, GAGoogle Scholar
- American Public Health Association (APHA) (2012) Standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater, 27th edn. APHHA, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
- Egyptian Ministry of Health (EMH) (2007) Standards and specifications of water quality for drinking and domestic uses. Internal Report 1–8Google Scholar
- Iyengar GV (1985) Concentrations of 15 trace elements in some selected adult human tissues and body fluids of clinical interest from several countries: results from a pilot study for the Establishment of reference values. F.R.G. Nuclear Research Center Juelich, JuelichGoogle Scholar
- Jennings GD, Sneed R, Clair MB (1996) Metals in drinking water. No. AG: 473-1, North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service, Goldsboro, NCGoogle Scholar
- Niu ZB, Wang Y, Zhang XJ, He WJ, Han HD, Yin PJ (2006) Analysis of influence factors and control methods on iron release phenomenon in drinking water distribution system. Huanjing Kexue 27(2):310–314Google Scholar
- Ogbomida ET, Nakayama S, Bortey-Sam N, Oroszlany B, Tongo I, Enuneku AA, Ogbeide O, Ainerua MO, Fasipe IP, Ezemonye LI, Mizukawa H, Ikenaka Y, Ikenaka M Ishizuka (2018) Accumulation patterns and risk assessment of metals and metalloid in muscle and official of free-range chickens, cattle and goat in Benin City, Nigeria. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 151:98–108CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- World Health Organization (2017) Guidelines for drinking-water quality. Fourth edition Incorporating the first addendum. pp 1–631Google Scholar
Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.