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Effects of Abandoned Arsenic Mine on Water Resources Pollution in North West of Iran

Author(s): Behzad Hajalilou | Mohammad Mosaferi | Fazel Khaleghi | Sakineh Jadidi | Bahram Vosugh | Esmail Fatehifar

Journal: Health Promotion Perspectives
ISSN 2228-6497

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 62;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Arsenic mine | Pollution | Water | Health | Heydrogeochemistry | Iran

Background: Pollution due to mining activities could have an important role in health andwelfare of people who are living in mining area. When mining operation finishes, environmentof mining area can be influenced by related pollution e.g. heavy metals emission to waterresources. The present study was aimed to evaluate Valiloo abandoned arsenic mine effectson drinking water resources quality and possible health effects on the residents of miningarea in the North West of Iran.Methods: Water samples and some limited composite wheat samples in downstream of miningarea were collected. Water samples were analyzed for chemical parameters according tostandard methods. For determination of arsenic in water samples, Graphite Furnace AtomicAbsorption Spectrometric Method (GFAAS) and for wheat samples X – Ray Fluorescence(XRF) and Inductively Coupled Plasma Method (ICP) were used. Information about possiblehealth effects due to exposure to arsenic was collected through interviews in studied villagesand health center of Herris City.Results: The highest concentrations of arsenic were measured near the mine (as high as 2000μg/L in Valiloo mine opening water). With increasing distance from the mine, concentrationwas decreased. Arsenic was not detectable in any of wheat samples. Fortunately, no healtheffects had been reported between residents of studied area due to exposure to arsenic.Conclusion: Valiloo abandoned arsenic mine has caused release of arsenic to the around environmentof the mine, so arsenic concentration has been increased in the groundwater andalso downstream river that requires proper measures to mitigate spread of arsenic.
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