High-Level Exposure to Lithium, Boron, Cesium, and Arsenic via Drinking Water in the Andes of Northern Argentina.
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Environmental science & technology
Elevated concentrations of arsenic in drinking water are common worldwide, however, little is known about the presence of other potentially toxic elements. We analyzed 31 different elements in drinking water collected in San Antonio de los Cobres and five surrounding Andean villages in Argentina, and in urine of the inhabitants, using ICP-MS. Besides confirmation of elevated arsenic concentrations in the drinking water (up to 210 mug/L), we found remarkably high concentrations of lithium (highest 1000 mug/L), cesium (320 mug/L), rubidium (47 mug/L), and boron (5950 mug/L). Similarly elevated concentrations of arsenic, lithium, cesium, and boron were found in urine of the studied women (N = 198): village median values ranged from 26 to 266 mug/L of arsenic, 340 to 4550 mug/L of lithium, 34 to 531 mug/L of cesium, and 2980 to 16 560 mug/L of boron. There is an apparent risk of toxic effects of long-term exposure to several of the elements, and studies on associations with adverse human health effects are warranted, particularly considering the combined, life-long exposure. Because of the observed wide range of concentrations, all water sources used for drinking water should be screened for a large number of elements; obviously, this applies to all drinking water sources globally.
- Environmental Health and Occupational Health
- ISSN: 1520-5851