Heavy metals contamination of drinking water supplies in southeastern villages of Rafsanjan plain: survey of arsenic, cadmium, lead and copper
27 January 2017
Background and Aims: In view of water crisis, effective prevention of water resources contamination is increasingly important. The presence of heavy metals in drinking water at concentration greater than acceptable limits may result in various adverse health effects. The present study was therefore conducted to evaluate the concentrations of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb) and copper (Cu) in drinking water supplies of villages located in southeastern region of Rafsanjan plain and in Rafsanjan fault zone as well.
Materials and Methods: Samples were taken from 62 rural drinking water supply resources (springs, wells, and canals). The concentrations of As, Cd, Pb and Cu was thence measured by atomic absorption following sample preparation. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS software (version 16).
Results: Copper concentrations were less than both WHO guidelines and the official Iranian governmet standard No. 1053 for the chemical quality of water in all samples. The amounts of As, Pb and Cd, however, fail to meet basic standards of water quality in 31.7%, 25% and 58.1% of samples, respectively. The current study also found that about 10.4% of people in this study area were exposed to arsenic. Furthermore, the results of this study revealed that respectively 66.6% and 46.7% of the study area residents had been exposed to high levels of lead and cadmium.
Conclusion: The heavy metals contamination of drinking water resources in Rafsanjan plain is linked to both naturally presence of sulfide veins in this area and manmade pollution due to the presence of main road as well as pesticides releases from agricultural activities. Further research should be done to investigate the exact source of contamination.
Key words: Arsenic, Cadmium, Copper, Drinking water, Heavy metals, Lead, Rafsanjan