Health Risk Assessment and Pollution Indices In The Groundwater of Al–Alam Area In Salah Al Din Governorate, Iraq

Muthanna Journal of Engineering and Technology

Volume (5), Issue (2), Year (30 August 2017), Pages (62-69)


Research Article By:

سلوى هادي احمد

Corresponding author E-mail:


In this study, pollution of groundwater by heavy metals was evaluated in Al-Alam area in Salah Al-Din Governorate. Water samples were collected from 25 wells in the study area during February 2017 to determine the concentrations of heavy metals including lead, cadmium, nickel and chromium using atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The results were compared with WHO standards for drinking water, where lead and cadmium concentrations were higher than standard while nickel and chromium were within the standards. A health risk assessment model was applied to assess the risk of groundwater use via ingestion (drinking) and skin contact (bathing) on adults and children and showed that there are no adverse health effects for heavy metals (Pb, Cd, Ni, Cr) on both. Pollution assessment indices have been applied to classify water quality and determine the degree of contamination of heavy metals. The range of the HPI index for all wells of the study area was significantly higher than the critical index of 75. The value of HEI was between 5.4 – 15.9), while Cd was between (1.4 – 11.9) for all wells of the study area. These results show that water quality in the study area is light to medium contaminated with heavy metals and is unsuitable for drinking purposes only after treatment.

Keywords: Heavy metals, HPI, ground-water, health risk.

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