Health Risk Associated with Some Trace and Some Heavy Metals Content of Harvested Rainwater in Yatta Area, Palestine
Publication Type
Original research
  • Issam A. Al-Khatib
  • Ghadeer A. Arafeh
  • Mutaz Al-Qutob
  • Shehdeh Jodeh
  • Abdel Fattah R. Hasan
  • Diana Jodeh
  • Michael van der Valk

Rainwater is considered a dependable source for domestic purposes within rural areas
in Palestine. Harvested rainwater stored in cisterns is used to leverage deficits from municipal
water supplies. Harvested rainwater in areas surrounded with industrial and agricultural activities
is usually contaminated with heavy and trace metals. To study the effects of human exposure to
heavy and trace metals, 74 harvested rainwater samples of rain-fed cisterns were collected from
different localities in the Yatta area of Palestine in the months of January and February of 2016. The
water samples were analysed for Ca, Mg, Al, Fe, K, Na, Ag, Li, Co, Ba, Bi, Sr, Ga, V, Rb, Mo, Beand
Tl elements utilizing ICP-MS (inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry). The selected trace
metals were found within the concentration limits of the acceptable values, in accordance with
WHO and Palestinian standards, except for K and Al, which were found above the allowed limits.
The potential risks of the selected trace metals on the health of the local residents, as well as the
possible sources of such heavy metals, were also studied. The Chronic daily intake (CDI) of each
metal and health risk indexes (HRI) were calculated for both adults and children residents. The
oral ingestion pathway was studied, including exposure via drinking water. The values for CDI
were found in the descending order of: Ca > Mg > Na > K > Sr > Fe > Al > Ba > Li > V > Rb > Ag
> Mo > Ga > Co > Bi > TI > Be. The values of HRI were below 1 for most of the selected heavy
metals, expect for Li for children, indicating potential health risk. The study also predicted that
the local residents have a higher chance of developing cancer in their lifetime, especially children,
with respect to the carcinogenic risk (CRing) values for Na, Mg, Al, Ba, K, Ca, Fe and Sr, which were
greater than standardized limits (>10????6). The rest of the selected elements were within the acceptable
limit in the five different studied locations. Furthermore, univariate, multivariate and statistical
analysis depending on one-way ANOVA, inter-metal correlation, cluster analysis (CA) and principal
component analysis (PCA) results revealed that geogenic and anthropogenic activities were major
sources of drinking water contamination by heavy metals in the Yatta area.

Publisher Country
Thomson Reuters
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Publication Type
Online only