Water Science & Technology Vol 66 No 3 pp 666672 © IWA Publishing 2012 doi:10.2166/wst.2012.227
Assessment of health hazard associated with nitrogen compounds in water
Wroclaw University of Technology, ul. Wyspianskiego 27, PL 50-370 Wroclaw, Poland E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
This paper presents results of analyses of water in the river Mała Panew in South West Poland flowing through a rural area with some chemical industry developed. The aims of the work were to investigate the pollutants level in the river, compare the obtained results with obligatory drinking water standards and determine possible health effects when using the river as a source for drinking water production. Attention was given to nitrogen compounds as nitrate(V) ions (NO3–) and nitrite(III) ions (NO2−), mostly of anthropogenic origin, were detected in the monitored water. The average concentrations of NO3− and NO2− were 3.54 and 0.286 mg/dm3, respectively. The chances for non-carcinogenic effects, namely methemoglobinemia, resulting from possible exposure to the examined chemicals were determined based on the analytical and toxicological data. As infants are the sub-population most susceptible to nitrate-induced methemoglobinemia, the assessment was limited to children aged 0–3 years. The determined values expressed by hazard quotient (HQ) and hazard index (HI) indicate that the water pollutants and their concentrations do not exceed unity; however, in the case of infants, the other nitrate sources should be controlled.
Keywords: environmental monitoring; methemoglobinemia; nitrate; nitrite; risk assessment; water pollution
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