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Water 2016, 8(12), 568; doi:10.3390/w8120568

Distribution and Potential Health Risks of Arsenic, Selenium, and Fluorine in Natural Waters in Tibet, China

1,2,3
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1,2,* , 2,3,4
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1,2
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5
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2,*
1
Lhasa National Ecological Research Station, Key Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modelling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
2
Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
3
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
4
State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Information System, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
5
Ministry of Science and Technology, Beijing 100862, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Mustafa M. Aral
Received: 18 October 2016 / Revised: 23 November 2016 / Accepted: 29 November 2016 / Published: 3 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Quality and Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [6204 KB, uploaded 3 December 2016]   |  

Abstract

The contents of major and trace elements were analyzed in 204 different types of water samples in 138 villages across 51 counties and cities of Tibet. The average concentrations of arsenic (As), selenium, and fluorine for each water category decreased in the following order: arsenic (in μg/L: hot spring 241.37 > lake 27.46 > stream 22.11 > shallow well 11.57 > deep well 6.22), selenium (in μg/L: deep well 0.85 > shallow well 0.68 > stream 0.62 > hot spring 0.39 > lake 0.36), and fluorine (in mg/L: hot spring 2.10 > lake 1.06 > deep well 0.45 > stream 0.20 > shallow well 0.15). The distribution of arsenic in Tibetan waters ranged between 77.35 μg/L in Ali prefecture and 1.17 μg/L in Chamdo prefecture, with intermediate values of 4.39, 2.52, 2.10, 1.68, and 1.51 μg/L in the prefectures of Shigatse, Nagchu, Lhasa, Lhoka, and Nyingchi, respectively. Carbonatite is a major source of elements in these waters. The non-carcinogenic risk in Tibet caused by heavy metals in drinking water is low overall, except in Ali prefecture’s surface and shallow ground waters, which contain high levels of As. Thus, deep well water in Tibet is safe to drink. View Full-Text
Keywords: Tibet’s water; arsenic; selenium; fluorine; potential health risks Tibet’s water; arsenic; selenium; fluorine; potential health risks
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Tian, Y.; Yu, C.; Zha, X.; Wu, J.; Gao, X.; Feng, C.; Luo, K. Distribution and Potential Health Risks of Arsenic, Selenium, and Fluorine in Natural Waters in Tibet, China. Water 2016, 8, 568.

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