R. Barzegar, A. Asghari Moghaddam, J. Adamowski
Sep 29, 2018
Environmental Geochemistry and Health
The objectives of this study were to measure some trace element concentrations in the groundwater of the Khoy area in northwestern Iran, understand their potential origins using multivariate statistical approaches (correlation analysis, cluster analysis and factor analysis), and evaluate their non-carcinogenic human health risks to local residents through drinking water intake. The trace element status of the groundwater and the associated health risks in the study area have not previously been reported. Groundwater water samples were collected from 54 water sources in July 2017 in the study area. Samples were measured for EC, pH, major and minor elements and some trace elements (Fe, Mn, Al, Zn, Cr, Pb, Cd, Co, Ni and As). The levels of EC, F, Cd, Pb, Zn, As and all the major ions except K exceeded permissible levels for drinking water. Multivariate analysis showed that the quality of groundwater was mainly controlled by geogenic factors followed by anthropogenic impacts. Health risk assessment results indicated that Cr and As in the groundwater, with hazard quotient values of 0.0001 and 11.55, respectively, had the lowest and highest impacts of non-carcinogenic risk to adults and children in the area. The high-risk samples were mainly situated in the northeast and southwest of the Khoy plain where the groundwater was saline. The health risk associated with water consumption from the unconfined aquifer was higher than that from the confined aquifer in the study area. Special attention should be paid to groundwater management in the high-risk areas to control factors (e.g., EC, pH and redox) that stimulate the release of trace elements into groundwater.