Cadmium in Groundwater Consumed in the Rural Areas of Gonabad and Bajestan, Iran: Occurrence and Health Risk Assessment

  • Mehdi Qasemi
  • Mahmoud Shams
  • Seyed Ali Sajjadi
  • Mansoureh Farhang
  • Saeed Erfanpoor
  • Mahmood Yousefi
  • Ahmad ZareiEmail author
  • Mojtaba AfsharniaEmail author


Evidences show that high levels of cadmium intake may be contributing to a wide range of deleterious health effects. This study was performed to estimate the concentration of cadmium and the health risk to human by cadmium through the ingestion of groundwater in 39 rural areas of Gonabad and Bajestan, eastern Iran. The mean cadmium concentrations in groundwater in the studied rural areas of Gonabad and Bajestan ranged from 0.087 to 14.32 μg/L and from 0.417 to 18.36 μg/L, respectively. Health risk quotient for cadmium contamination for 16 and 38% of children and infants in rural areas of Gonabad and Bajestan, respectively, was more than 1 which causes non-carcinogenic risk to the local population. The carcinogenic risk of cadmium in drinking water for adults, children, and infants in 16, 33, and 33% of studied rural areas of Gonabad and Bajestan, respectively, was higher than the safe limit of 1.0 × 10−4. For rural areas of Bajestan, the cancer risk in 42, 52, and 52% of adults, children, and infants was above the safe limit. It was strongly suggested that the accessible procedures of treatment should be taken for a portion of contaminated rural areas before the distribution of the groundwater for the local population.


Cadmium Groundwater Health risk assessment Carcinogenic risk Non-carcinogenic risk 



The authors thank Professor Mehdi Zarrei in the hospital for Sickkids in Toronto, Canada, for valuable comments and suggestions, allowing us to improve this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mehdi Qasemi
    • 1
  • Mahmoud Shams
    • 2
  • Seyed Ali Sajjadi
    • 1
  • Mansoureh Farhang
    • 1
  • Saeed Erfanpoor
    • 3
  • Mahmood Yousefi
    • 4
  • Ahmad Zarei
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mojtaba Afsharnia
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Health Engineering, Faculty of Health, Social Development and Health Promotion Research CenterGonabad University of Medical SciencesGonabadIran
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of HealthMashhad University of Medical SciencesMashhadIran
  3. 3.Department of Social Medicine, Faculty of MedicineGonabad University of Medical SciencesGonabadIran
  4. 4.Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of HealthTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran

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