Potentially Toxic Elements in Drinking Water in Alphabetical Order



Most toxic elements in drinking water are regulated by the World Health Organization, WHO. Elevated levels of arsenic (As) are linked to skin disorders and lung cancers. Cadmium (Cd) may cause renal effects. Lead (Pb) can cause decreased IQ in children, hypertension, and damaged red blood cell production. Nitrite (NO2) and nitrate (NO3) forms complex with haemoglobin, methaemoglobin, which is unsuitable for transportation of oxygen in the blood. Radon (Rn) can cause lung cancer, uranium (U) especially kidney diseases, antimony (Sb) increased cholesterol levels, and barium (Ba) intestinal and cardiovascular diseases. However, elements like Ca and Mg in drinking water may decrease negative health effects of a toxic element, and should not be decreased if they are not present in excessive amounts.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sustainable Development, Environmental Science and Engineering (SEED)KTH, Royal Institute of EngineeringStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Department of Water HygieneNational Institute of Public HealthPragueCzech Republic
  3. 3.BombayIndia

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