Public health risk assessment of groundwater contamination in Batman, Turkey

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

In this study, a comprehensive analysis of groundwater was performed to assess contamination and phenol content in Batman, Turkey, particularly in residential areas near agriculture, livestock and oil industry facilities. From these areas, where potentially contaminated groundwater used for drinking and irrigation threatens public health, 30 groundwater samples were collected and analyzed for heavy metal concentrations (Al, As, B, Ba, Ca, Cd, Cl, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Li, Mg, Mn, Mo, Na, Ni, NO3, P, Pb, phenol, S, Sb, Se, SO4, Sr, U, and Zn). Compared with the standards of the Environmental Protection Agency, Al, Fe, and Mn concentrations in groundwater exceeded secondary drinking water regulations, NO3 concentrations were high for maximum contaminant levels, and As, Pb, and U concentrations exceeded maximum contaminant level goals in all samples. Ni, Sb, and Se concentrations also exceeded limits set by the Turkish Standards Institution. Nearly all samples revealed concentrations of Se, Sb, Hg, and phenol due to nearby petroleum refineries, oil storage plants, and agricultural and livestock areas. The results obtained from this study indicate that the groundwater in Batman contains elements in concentrations that approach or exceed limits and thus threatens public health with increased blood cholesterol, decreased blood sugar, and circulatory problems.

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