What are the health risk of exposure to groundwater contamination?

Uptake via drinking water is only one of the potential pathways by which contaminants enter the human body. Elevated contaminant concentrations may also be found in foodstuffs and beverages or in water used for food preparation (Fig. 3.1). Locally produced cereals and vegetables using contaminated irrigation waters may contain elevated contaminant levels. Medical products or industrial production can also be sources of contamination. Though not an alternative to the provision of safe drinking water where water contamination is high, an understanding of the uptake pathways widens the scope of the mitigation possibilities to include changes in food production and consumption behaviour.

Fig. 3.1 Different food and water pathways by which contaminants may enter the body (Terms of use: Cite original source from Handbook)

For more information on the health effects of consuming contaminants through groundwater visit the following links:

What are the effects of arsenic on human health?

What are the effects of fluoride on human health?

How are health risks quantified?

NOTE: Article from the Geogenic Contamination Handbook


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