Evaluation the concentration of mercury, zinc, arsenic, lead and cobalt in the Ilam city water supply network and resources
Background: The presence of heavy metals in water resources above threshold levels can be toxic and carcinogenic for consumers. This study determined the concentrations of heavy metals in the drinking water distribution network and resources of the city of Ilam in Iran.
Methods: In this cross-sectional study from 6 sources of water supply and also, different parts of the water supply system of Ilam city, samples were collected based on standard sampling methods. The samples were tested with a BRAIC atomic absorption spectrophotometer. The data was analyzed using nonparametric Mann-Whitney test.
Results: The concentration of zinc in all water sources of the city of Ilam was higher than WHO guidelines and Iranian standard 1053. Contamination by cobalt, arsenic and lead from Ilam dam, Pich-e Ashoori well and Haft Cheshmeh well was higher than national and international standards. The amount of cobalt and mercury at Ilam dam was significantly different from the levels at other sources (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: The use of pesticides in the agricultural sector, contamination of water by human waste and aged and worn water pipes are the likely sources of the increased concentrations of heavy metals, especially lead and arsenic. Because there is a cumulative effect from these metals, appropriate measures are necessary by the relevant agencies to address this problem.
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