1Professor, Environmental Health Engineering Research Center, Department of Environmental Health, School of Public Health, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
2MSc Student in Environmental Health Engineering, Department of Environmental Health, School of Public Health, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
3Researcher, Environmental Health Engineering Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
Background & Aims: The presence of heavy metals in water resources is a serious threat to human health. Due to the importance of this subject, this research was carried out to determine the concentration of heavy metals in drinking water resources of central and Southern Bardsir plain and compare the results with national and international standards. Methods: The descriptive and cross-sectional study was performed in winter 2014 in the Environmental Health Engineering Research Center of Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran. A census sampling of all drinking water resources (46 resources) of cities and villages in central and Southern Bardsir plain, Iran, was performed in the middle of each month. The concentration of heavy metals (arsenic, lead, copper, cadmium, and iron) in the samples was measured using an atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Data were analyzed by means of SPSS software. Results: The results of the study showed that the maximum concentration of the metals were Pb = 4, Cu = 12, Cd = 0.8, Fe = 160, and As = 210 µg/l. The concentration of arsenic in 50% of the ground water samples was higher than the World Health Organization (WHO) standards for drinking water. However, the concentrations of the other contaminants were lower than permissible level. Conclusion: High concentration of arsenic in some drinking water resources in the region under study is an important environmental problem. The higher than standard concentrations of arsenic in drinking water can be of geological origin. Because of the dangerous effects of arsenic on human health, appropriate measures should be taken by the relevant agencies.