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Geosciences 2015, 5(1), 45-66; doi:10.3390/geosciences5010045

Exposure to Selected Geogenic Trace Elements (I, Li, and Sr) from Drinking Water in Denmark

Department of Geoscience, Aarhus University, Høegh-Guldbergs Gade 2, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), Lyseng Allé 1, DK-8270 Højbjerg, Denmark
Department of Public Health, Aarhus University, Bartholins Allé 2, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
Centre for Integrated Register-Based Research at Aarhus University (CIRRAU), Fuglesangs Allé 4, DK-8210 Aarhus V, Denmark
National Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, Øster Farimagsgade 5A, 2nd floor, DK-1353, Copenhagen K, Denmark
Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), Øster Voldgade 10, DK-1350 Copenhagen K, Denmark
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jose A. Centeno, Robert B. Finkelman and Olle Selinus
Received: 29 December 2014 / Revised: 6 February 2015 / Accepted: 16 February 2015 / Published: 27 February 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medical Geology: Impacts of the Natural Environment on Public Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [4136 KB, uploaded 27 February 2015]   |  


The naturally occurring geogenic elements iodine (I), lithium (Li), and strontium (Sr) have a beneficial effect on human health. Iodine has an essential role in human metabolism while Li and Sr are used, respectively, as a treatment for various mental disorders and for post-menopausal osteoporosis. The aim here is to evaluate the potential for future epidemiological investigations in Denmark of lifelong and chronic exposure to low doses of these compounds. The drinking water data represents approximately 45% of the annual Danish groundwater abstraction for drinking water purposes, which supplies approximately 2.5 million persons. The spatial patterns were studied using inverse distance weighted interpolation and cluster analysis. The exposed population was estimated based on two datasets: (1) population density in the smallest census unit, the parishes, and (2) geocoded addresses where at least one person is residing. We found significant spatial variation in the exposure for all three elements, related mainly to geochemical processes. This suggests a prospective opportunity for future epidemiological investigation of long-term effects of I, Li, and Sr, either alone or in combinations with other geogenic elements such as Ca, Mg or F. View Full-Text
Keywords: iodine; lithium; strontium; drinking water; treated groundwater; spatial trends; exposure; Denmark; epidemiology iodine; lithium; strontium; drinking water; treated groundwater; spatial trends; exposure; Denmark; epidemiology

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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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MDPI and ACS Style

Voutchkova, D.D.; Schullehner, J.; Knudsen, N.N.; Jørgensen, L.F.; Ersbøll, A.K.; Kristiansen, S.M.; Hansen, B. Exposure to Selected Geogenic Trace Elements (I, Li, and Sr) from Drinking Water in Denmark. Geosciences 2015, 5, 45-66.

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