Back
 JEP  Vol.4 No.11 , November 2013
Analysis of Health Risk Due to the Presence of Radioactivity and Chemical Elements in Groundwater, Aldama Municipality, Chihuahua, Mexico
Abstract: There exist potential health risks due to the presence of some elements in groundwater. This study presents measurements of gross alpha and beta activity and chemical concentrations (fluorides and nitrates) in 25 water wells in Aldama municipality, Chihuahua, Mexico. Total alpha and beta emitter analyses were performed at the Academic Unit of Nuclear Studies at the Autonomous University of Zacatecas. Radioactive elements were concentrated by total evaporation. All samples were measured with a Wallac-Oy 1411 liquid scintillate with a pulse separation option (Pulse Shape Analysis) for 6 h. Fluorine and nitrate analyses were performed at the Faculty of Engineering of the Autonomous University of Chihuahua by flow injection-hydride generation collection-atomic absorption spectrometry. Exposure levels were calculated for each well and found to exceed maximum limits allowed under Mexican law in terms of 1) gross alpha and beta activity; and 2) fluoride and nitrate concentrations. Gross alpha activity in two wells exceeded the reference value of 0.56 Bq·L-1. Fluorides and nitrates were found in 40% and 48% of water wells, respectively. Fluoride values were higher than 1.5 mg·L-1, and the exposure doses for adults and children exceeded the reference value of 0.06 mg·kg-1·d-1. Children are the most vulnerable, since their intake doses are near or above of 0.12 mg·kg-1·d-1 of the minimum level of risk for the development of skeletal fluorosis or bone fractures. On the other hand, while nitrate concentrations in water wells exceeded the drinking water limit of 10 mg·L-1, this does not represent a serious health risk, since the calculated exposure doses for adults and children are below the chronic reference level of 1.6 mg·kg-1·d-1established by the USEPA.
Cite this paper: L. Villalba, L. Colmenero-Sujo, A. Pinales-Munguia, G. Estrada-Gutiérrez, H. Rubio-Arias, F. Mireles-Garcia and I. Dávila-Rangel, "Analysis of Health Risk Due to the Presence of Radioactivity and Chemical Elements in Groundwater, Aldama Municipality, Chihuahua, Mexico," Journal of Environmental Protection, Vol. 4 No. 11, 2013, pp. 1265-1271. doi: 10.4236/jep.2013.411147.
References

[1]   P. F. Dobson, T. A. Ghezzehei, P. J. Cook, J. A. Rodriguez-Pineda, L. Villalba and R. De la Garza, “Heterogeneous Seepage at the Nopal I Natural Analogue Site, Chihuahua, Mexico,” Hydrogeology Journal, Vol. 20, No. 1, 2011, pp. 155-166.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10040-011-0783-5

[2]   M. L. Villalba, L. H. Colmenero-Sujo and M. E. Montero, “Analisis y Dosimetria de Radionúclidos en el Agua. Estudio Realizado en Chihuahua-Mexico,” In: Leipzing, Ed., Amazon DistributionGmbH, Academica Espanola, 2011, p. 101.

[3]   R. D. Loyd, E. Polig, F. W. Bruenger and S. C. Moller, “Uranium Skeletal Dosimetry and Distribution in Young Adult Beagles. A Guide for Calculating Uranium Skeletal Dosis in Humans,” Health Physics Society, Vol. 70, No. 3, 1996, pp. 364-401.

[4]   UNSCEAR, “Sources and Effects of Ionizing Radiation. Report to the General Assembly with Scientific Annexes,” United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, 2000.

[5]   H. R. Arias, K. Wood and H. E. Alanis, “Water Pollution in the Rio Conchos of Northern Mexico,” International Conference on Development and Application of Computer Techniques to Environmental Studies, 2004, pp. 167-176.

[6]   R. Trejo-Vazquez and A. Bonilla-Petriciolet, “Exposición a Fluoruros del Agua Potable en la Ciudad de Aguascalientes, Mexico,” Revista Panamericana de Salud Publica, Vol. 10, No. 2, 2001, pp. 108-113.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892001000800006

[7]   ATSDR, “Toxicological Profile for Fluoride, Hydrogen Fluoride and Fluorine. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service,” Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 1993.

[8]   ATSDR, “Standard Practice for Conducting an Interlaboratory Study to Determine the Precision of a Test Method,” Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 1999.

[9]   S. Vega, “Riesgo Sanitario Ambiental por la Presencia de Arsenico y Fluoruros en los Acuiferos de México,” Technic Report: Comisión Nacional del Agua. Gerencia de Saneamiento y Calidad del Agua, 2004.

[10]   NOM-127-SSA1-1994, “Norma Oficial Mexicana, Salud Ambiental. Agua Para uso y Consumo Humano. Límites Permisibles de Calidad y Tratamientos a que Debe Someterse el Agua Para su Potabilización Secretaria de Salud,” 1994.

[11]   USEPA, “Chapter 5. Water Quality Conditions, Monitoring & Assessment,” Environmental Protection Agency of United States, 2012.

[12]   WHO, “Background Document for Development of WHO Guidelines for Drinking-Water Quality. Nitrate and Nitrite in Drinking-Water,” World Health Organization, Geneva, 2011.

[13]   J. L. Arumi, J. Nunez, L. Salgado and M. Claret, “Evaluacion del Riesgo de Contaminacion con Nitratos de Pozos de Suministro de Agua Potable en Chile,” Revista Panamericana Salud Publica, Vol. 20, No. 6, 2006, pp. 385-392.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892006001100004

[14]   NMX-AA-051-SCFI-2001, “Norma Oficial Mexicana. Analisis de Agua-Determinacion de Metales por Absorcionatomica en Aguas Naturales, Potable, Residuales y Residuales Tratadas-Método de Prueba,” 2001.

[15]   J. I. Davila, H. Lopez, B. L. Rodriguez and M. Solache, “Gross Alpha and Gross Beta Radioactivity in Drinking Water from Zacatecas and Guadalupe Cities, Mexico,” Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry, Vol. 247, No. 2, 2001, pp. 425-428.

[16]   F. Diaz-Barriga, “Metodologia de Identificacion y Evaluacion de Riesgos Para la Salud en Sitios Contaminados,” OPS/CEPIS/PUB/99.34. Lima Centro Panamericano de Ingenieria Sanitaria y Ciencias del Ambiente. Organizacion Mundial de la Salud, 1999.

[17]   ICRP, “Recommendations of the International Commision on Radiological Protection,” International Commision on Radiological Protection, Pergamon Press, Oxford, 1990, p. 60.

[18]   J. M. Falcao, F. P. Carvalho, M. M. Leite, M. Alarcao, E. Cordeiro and J. Ribeiro, “MINURAR Project d úranium Mines and Their Residues; Health Effects in a Portuguese Population. ScientificReport I,” 2005.

[19]   O. Neves and M. M. Abreu, “Are Uranium-Contaminated Soil and Irrigation Water a Risk for Human Vegetables Consumers? A Study Case with Solanumtuberosum L., Phaseolus vulgaris L., and Lactuca sativa L,” Ecotoxicology, Vol. 18, No. 8, 2009, pp. 1130-1136.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10646-009-0376-4

[20]   P. Kurttio, L. Salonen, T. Ilus, J. Pekkanen, E. Pukkala and A. Auvinen, “Well Water Radioactivity and Risk of Cancer of the Urinary Organs,” Environmental Research, Vol. 102, No. 3, 2006, pp. 333-338.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2005.12.010

[21]   R. Hurtado-Jimenez and J. Gardea-Torresdey, “Estimacion de la Exposicion a Fluoruros en Los Altos de Jalisco, Mexico,” Salud Publica en Mexico, Vol. 47, No. 1, 2005, pp. 58-63.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0036-36342005000100009

[22]   V. Hernandez, J. I. Bueno, A. M. Sanchez, J. Garcia, R. Trejo, A. Bonilla and C. Marquez, “Fluorosis y Caries Dental en Ninos de 9 a 11 anos del Estado de Aguascalientes, México,” Revista Internacional de Contaminación Ambiental, Vol. 19, No. 4, 2003, pp. 197-204.

[23]   G. F. Craun, D. G. Greathouse and D. H. Gunderson, “Methahemoglobin Levels in Young Children Consuming High Nitrate Well Water in the United States,” International Journal of Epidemiology, Vol. 10, 1981, pp. 309-312

[24]   N. I. Petukhov and A. V. Ivanov, “Investigation of Certain Psychophysiological Reactions in Children Suffering from Methemoglobinemia Due to Nitrate in Wáter,” Gigiena i Sanitariia, Vol. 35, No. 1, 1970, pp. 29-40.

 
 
Top