Tag Archives: inorganic contaminants

Manganese Exposure and Neurotoxic Effects in Children

Bjørklund G, Chartrand MS, Aaseth J. Manganese exposure and neurotoxic effects in children. Environ Res. 2017 May;155:380-384. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2017.03.003. Epub 2017 Mar 10.

Manganese (Mn) is the fifth most abundant metal on earth. Although it is a well understood essential trace element, in excess, Mn is neurotoxic. Initial toxic symptoms associated with Mn are of psychiatric nature and are clinically defined as locura manganica. Neurological signs of Mn toxicity include dystonia, progressive bradykinesia, and disturbance of gait, slurring, and stuttering of speech with diminished volume. Studies indicate that children who ingested Mn in the drinking water (WMn) at or above a level of 0.241mg/L for a minimum of three years performed more poorly in school as measured by mastery of language, mathematics, and in their overall grade average. The Mn-exposed children also performed more poorly on a battery of neurobehavioral tests. It was also found a significant association between higher WMn and lower cognitive performance, verbal function, and full-scale intelligence quotient (IQ) scores. Young children appear to make up a vulnerable group in exposed populations. Toxicity of WMn is a problem particularly in areas of industrial waste or where Mn is leaching from the soil into public drinking water. Practical and cost-effective approaches are available to remove Mn from drinking water. It is crucial to protect developing brains against Mn toxicity.

Fluoride, Trace Metals, and Hardness have Synergistic Effect on Kidney Tissues?

Wasana HM, Perera GD, Gunawardena PS, Fernando PS, Bandara J. WHO water quality standards Vs Synergic effect(s) of fluoride, heavy metals and hardness in drinking water on kidney tissues. Scientific reports 2017 Feb 14;7:42516. doi: 10.1038/srep42516.

Despite WHO standards, waterborne diseases among the human being are rising alarmingly. It is known that the prolong exposure to contaminated water has major impact on public health. The effect of chemical contaminations in drinking water on human being is found to be chronic rather than acute and hence can be defined “consumption of contaminated drinking water could be a silent killer”. As the WHO recommended water quality standards are only for individual element and synergic effects of trace metals and anions have not been considered, investigation of synergic effects of trace metals and anions and their effect on human being is of prime important research. By an animal trial, we investigated the synergic effect(s) of heavy metals, aluminium, arsenic, fluoride and hardness in drinking water on kidney tissues of mice. Our investigation strongly suggests existing of a synergic effect especially among Cd, F and hardness of water which could lead to severe kidney damage in mice, even at WHO maximum recommended levels. Hence, the synergic effect(s) of trace metals, fluoride and hardness present in drinking water should be investigated meticulously when stipulating the water quality at WHO maximum recommended levels.

Radon and Heavy Metals in Drinking Water, Jammu & Kashmir, India

Kaur M, Sharma S, Mehra R, Sharma DK, Mishra R. RADIATION DOSE DUE TO RADON AND HEAVY METAL ANALYSIS IN DRINKING WATER SAMPLES OF JAMMU DISTRICT, JAMMU & KASHMIR, INDIA. Kumar A, Radiation protection dosimetry. 2016 Oct;171(2):217-222.

In the present investigation, radon concentration and heavy metal analysis were carried out in drinking water samples in Jammu district, Jammu & Kashmir, India. The radon concentration was measured by using RAD-7, portable alpha particle detector. The values of radon concentration in drinking water samples were also compared within the safe limit recommended by different health agencies. The total annual effective dose ranged from 53.04 to 197.29 µSv y-1 The annual effective dose from few locations from the studied area was found to be greater than the safe limit (100 µSv y-1) suggested by World Health Organisation (WHO) and EU Council. Heavy metal concentration was determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometer. A total of eight elements were analysed, viz. arsenic, mercury, zinc, iron, copper, chromium, manganese and cadmium. Heavy metals are considered to be the major pollutants of water sources. The results were compared with the limits of WHO, EU and Indian organisations. The trace metal analysis is not on the exceeding side of the permissible limit in all the samples.

Trace Element Induced Risk in Bay County, Xinjian, China

Turdi M, Yang L. Trace Elements Contamination and Human Health Risk Assessment in Drinking Water from the Agricultural and Pastoral Areas of Bay County, Xinjiang, China. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2016 Sep 23;13(10). pii: E938. doi: 10.3390/ijerph13100938.

Tap water samples were collected from 180 families in four agricultural (KYR: Keyir, KRW: Kariwak, YTR: Yatur, DW: Dawanqi) and two pastoral areas (B: Bulong and Y: Yangchang) in Bay County, Xinjiang, China, and levels of seven trace elements (Cd, Cr, As Ni, Pb, Zn, Se) were analyzed using inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) to assess potential health risks. Remarkable spatial variations of contamination were observed. Overall, the health risk was more severe for carcinogenic versus non-carcinogenic pollutants due to heavy metal. The risk index was greater for children overall (Cr > As > Cd and Zn > Se for carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic elements, respectively). The total risk index was greater in agricultural areas (DW > KYR > YTR > KRW > B > Y). Total risk indices were greater where well water was the source versus fountain water; for the latter, the total health risk index was greater versus glacier water. Main health risk factors were Cr and As in DW, KYR, YTR, KRW, and B, and Zn, Cr, and As in the Y region. Overall, total trace element-induced health risk (including for DW adults) was higher than acceptable (10(-6)) and lower than priority risk levels (10(-4)) (KYR, YTR, KRW, Y, and B). For DW children, total health risk reached 1.08 × 10(-4), higher than acceptable and priority risk levels (10(-4)).

Molybdenum Contamination of Groundwater

Tsai KS, Chang YM, Kao JC, Lin KL. Groundwater Molybdenum from Emerging Industries in Taiwan. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. 2015 Nov 26.

This study determined the influence of emerging industries development on molybdenum (Mo) groundwater contamination. A total of 537 groundwater samples were collected for Mo determination, including 295 samples from potentially contaminated areas of 3 industrial parks in Taiwan and 242 samples from non-potentially contaminated areas during 2008-2014. Most of the high Mo samples are located downstream from a thin film transistor-liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) panel factory. Mean groundwater Mo concentrations from potentially contaminated areas (0.0058 mg/L) were significantly higher (p < 0.05) than those from non-potentially contaminated areas (0.0022 mg/L). The highest Mo wastewater concentrations in the effluent from the optoelectronics industry and following wastewater batch treatment were 0.788 and 0.0326 mg/L, respectively. This indicates that wastewater containing Mo is a possible source of both groundwater and surface water contamination. Nine samples of groundwater exceed the World Health Organization’s suggested drinking water guideline of 0.07 mg/L. A non-carcinogenic risk assessment for Mo in adults and children using the Mo concentration of 0.07 mg/L yielded risks of 0.546 and 0.215, respectively. These results indicate the importance of the development of a national drinking water quality standard for Mo in Taiwan to ensure safe groundwater for use. According to the human health risk calculation, the groundwater Mo standard is suggested as 0.07 mg/L. Reduction the discharge of Mo-contaminated wastewater from factories in the industrial parks is also the important task in the future.

Drinking Water Quality and Chronic Kidney Disease, Sri Lanka

Wasana HM, Aluthpatabendi D, Kularatne WM, Wijekoon P, Weerasooriya R, Bandara J. Drinking water quality and chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology (CKDu): synergic effects of fluoride, cadmium and hardness of water. Environmental Geochemistry and Health. 2015 Apr 10.

High prevalence of chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology (CKDu) in some regions of the world is suspected mainly due to a toxin-mediated renal failure. We examined the incidence of CKDu and potable chemical water quality in a CKDu-affected region. This region has been identified as a high-risk zone for CKDu (location: latitude: 8.3500°-9.0000°, longitude: 80.3833°-81.3000°, North Central Province, NCP, Sri Lanka) by the World Health Organization (WHO). However, within this macro-region, small pockets of CKDu non-prevalence zones do exist; notably, the residents in those pockets consume spring water. Therefore, the drinking water quality of four areas, namely high-CKDu-prevalence areas (zone I), low-CKDu-prevalence area (zone II), the CKDu-free isolated pockets (zone III) and control areas (controls) were examined for F, Al, Cd, and As, and hardness and the statistical analysis were carried out to probe possible correlations among these parameters. The fluoride and hardness concentrations of water in zone III and control areas are much lower compared to zones I and II, and the water hardness is ~61 mg/L CaCO3. In zones I and II, the harness of drinking water is ~121-180 mg/L CaCO3; however, Al, Cd and As concentrations are almost comparable and below WHO recommendations. In most of the locations in zones I and II, the F concentration in drinking water is higher than the WHO recommendations. The peculiar distribution patterns of CKDu point to a synergic effect of trace elements in water for etiology of the disease.

Click here for full paper (Open Access).


Inorganic Contaminants in Groundwater, Myanmar

Bacquart T, Frisbie S, Mitchell E, Grigg L, Cole C, Small C, Sarkar B. Multiple inorganic toxic substances contaminating the groundwater of Myingyan Township, Myanmar: Arsenic, manganese, fluoride, iron, and uranium. The Science of the Total Environment. 2015 Mar 4;517C:232-245. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.02.038.

In South Asia, the technological and societal shift from drinking surface water to groundwater has resulted in a great reduction of acute diseases due to water borne pathogens. However, arsenic and other naturally occurring inorganic toxic substances present in groundwater in the region have been linked to a variety of chronic diseases, including cancers, heart disease, and neurological problems. Due to the highly specific symptoms of chronic arsenic poisoning, arsenic was the first inorganic toxic substance to be noticed at unsafe levels in the groundwater of West Bengal, India and Bangladesh. Subsequently, other inorganic toxic substances, including manganese, uranium, and fluoride have been found at unsafe levels in groundwater in South Asia. While numerous drinking water wells throughout Myanmar have been tested for arsenic, relatively little is known about the concentrations of other inorganic toxic substances in Myanmar groundwater. In this study, we analyzed samples from 18 drinking water wells (12 in Myingyan City and 6 in nearby Tha Pyay Thar Village) and 2 locations in the Ayeyarwaddy River for arsenic, boron, barium, beryllium, cadmium, cobalt, chromium, copper, fluoride, iron, mercury, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, lead, antimony, selenium, thallium, uranium, vanadium, and zinc. Concentrations of arsenic, manganese, fluoride, iron, or uranium exceeded health-based reference values in most wells. In addition, any given well usually contained more than one toxic substance at unsafe concentrations. While water testing and well sharing could reduce health risks, none of the wells sampled provide water that is entirely safe with respect to inorganic toxic substances. It is imperative that users of these wells, and users of other wells that have not been tested for multiple inorganic toxic substances throughout the region, be informed of the need for drinking water testing and the health consequences of drinking water contaminated with inorganic toxic substances.

Paper is here (fee).