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Spatial variation and quantitative screening level assessment of human risk from boron exposure in groundwater resources of western edge of the Lake Urmia, Iran

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Boron is a ubiquitous element and exposure to high concentrations of boron in drinking water may lead to health outcomes. This study aimed to analyze boron in rural drinking water resources located at the west of Urmia Lake. An innovative risk matrix was developed for faster assessment of risk status and adaptation of mitigation approaches. The mean boron concentration in 121 drinking water sources from 301 villages obtained 1477 ± 1683 μg/L. In the west of Urmia lake and northwestern parts of the lake (east of Salmas city), boron concentrations were up to twice the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. Using regional screening levels calculator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US.EPA), as a deterministic risk assessment model, the total risks/Non-carcinogenic hazard index (HI) risks from exposure to 13,000 and 2600 μg/L of boron obtained 1.94E+00 and 3.91E−01, respectively. More investigations are recommended for better understanding of the extent of contamination in the study area.
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Keywords: Azerbaijan; Water contamination; groundwater; health risk; hydrochemistry

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Health and Environment Research Center, Tabriz Health Services Management Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran 2: Health and Environment Research Center, Student Research Committee, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran 3: Department of Civil Engineering, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran 4: School of Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Publication date: May 3, 2020

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