Non-carcinogenic Health Risk Assessment of Aluminium Ingestion Via Drinking Water in Malaysia

  • Minhaz Farid Ahmed
  • Mazlin Bin MokhtarEmail author
  • Lubna Alam
  • Che Abd Rahim Mohamed
  • Goh Choo Ta
S.I. : Drinking Water Quality and Public Health


Exposure to aluminium (Al) is inevitable in the daily life because of its abundance in the environmental media through natural processes. Meanwhile, several studies have reported a positive association between Alzheimer’s disease and a higher level of Al ingestion through drinking water. The present study is the first of its kind in Malaysia which predicts the human health risk of Al ingestion via drinking water at the Langat River Basin, Malaysia. Water samples were collected during 2015–2016 from the four stages of drinking water supply chain at the basin to determine the concentrations of Al by the Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS). The determined mean concentration of Al in river 2.50E−01 ± 1.89E−01 mg/L crossed the Malaysian drinking water quality standard of 0.2 mg/L. The higher concentration of Al in the Langat River might be due to natural weathering of Al-bearing minerals. The mean Al concentrations in the treated water by the treatment plants, household’s tap and after filtration water, respectively, were found to be within the Malaysian drinking water quality standard. This study suggests that there is no potential human health risk of Al ingestion through drinking water (HQ = 3.81E−03 ± 1.82E−03) at 95% confidence level in the basin because the hazard quotient (HQ) value is less than 1. However, the authorities need to be careful of excessive ingestion of Al via drinking water because the water treatment plants in the basin follow the conventional method to treat raw water. The turbidity in the tropical Langat River changes very frequently; thus, the doses of Al2(SO4)3 for water disinfection are very crucial. Therefore, reverse osmosis technology can be introduced in the treatment plants because the United States Environmental Protection Agency has recommended that it can remove all types of metal > 90% from treated water.


Malaysia Aluminium Drinking water Chronic daily intake Alzheimer’s disease 



The study is supported by the Grants: KRA-2017-022; TRGS/1/2015/UKM/02/5/2 and GUP-2015-029 of the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. The authors are also grateful to the Laboratory of Chemical Oceanography, Faculty of Science & Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia as well as to the water treatment plant authorities i.e. Puncak Niaga (M) Sdn. Bhd. and Konsortium Air Selangor Sdn. Bhd. to allow to collect water samples from the outlets of their plants. The authors are also thankful to the Institute of Climate Change, UKM to prepare the study area map.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Minhaz Farid Ahmed
    • 1
  • Mazlin Bin Mokhtar
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lubna Alam
    • 1
  • Che Abd Rahim Mohamed
    • 2
  • Goh Choo Ta
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Environment and Development (LESTARI), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)BangiMalaysia
  2. 2.School of Environmental and Natural Resource SciencesUniversiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)BangiMalaysia

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