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Environmental Geochemistry and Drinking Water Resources in the Pannonian Basin (Western Romania)

Jimenez, Cristina; Baciu, Calin; Cordos, Emil; Tatu, Calin

doi: 10.1097/01.ede.0000362929.01314.ce
Abstracts: ISEE 21st Annual Conference, Dublin, Ireland, August 25–29, 2009: Poster Presentations

University Babes Bolyai, Cluj Napoca, Romania.

Abstracts published in Epidemiology have been reviewed by the organizations of Epidemiology. Affliate Societies at whose meetings the abstracts have been accepted for presentation. These abstracts have not undergone review by the Editorial Board of Epidemiology.


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Background, Objectives and Methods:

A multidisciplinary study has been achieved in Western Romania. This area is known for its high concentrations of geogenic arsenic in its artesian aquifers, many of those used as drinking water (DW) supplies. Therefore we have studied the geochemistry of these aquifers and the quality of the DW that the population has access to. The main concern is the availability of DW with as contents below the EU parametric value of 10 mg/L. Moreover, the study has also focused on the amount of humic substances (HS) in those waters, in regard with the known ability of HS to extract as from the bedrock and transport and concentrate it into the aquifers.

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The results showed a wide range of geochemical conditions and frequently high concentration of arsenic ranged from 0.12 and 223 μg/L; pH values varied from 6.26 to 8.81; redox potentials from −246 and +140 mV and O2 concentrations from 0 to 7.1 mg/L. It has been demonstrated in the study that those water supplies with a more yellowish color have a higher concentration of HS.

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Up to 56% of all the investigated villages use public artesian wells as their only source of DW. Furthermore, 26% of villages have their only source of DW artesian wells that have >10 mg/L of arsenic. Higher HS concentrations have been found in wells with low-medium concentration of arsenic, a fact that increases the concern about the quality of DW resources in the area. Arsenic is known for its deleterious effects on human health; exposure to inorganic arsenic may induce irritation of the stomach, intestines, bone marrow toxicity, and may contribute to the development of certain cancers (skin, lung, liver and hematopoietic system).

We acknowledge funding from the European Commission (AquaTRAIN MRTN-CT-2006-035420).

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.