Assessment of Health Risks Due to the Presence of Heavy Metals in Drinking Water Sources the in Chingola District of the Copperbelt Province of Zambia (Published)
Water contamination is one of the issues preventing access to clean water. Waterbody poisoning with heavy metals is particularly concerning. This study aimed to ascertain the concentrations of heavy metals in the drinking water sources in the Chingola District of Zambia and assess the health risks based on carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic indices. The study was cross-sectional in design. In the dry season, water samples were obtained, and in the wet season, an equal number of water samples were collected. All the water samples from all sources were analysed for heavy metals with Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP -MS) Mass spectrometer was used to analyse heavy metals. Nickel contents in numerous water sources exceeded the maximum allowable values of 0.0012 to 0.2144 mg/L. Each water sample had levels of chromium and cadmium below the detection threshold, except for three sampling sites. Drinking water from the tap, open well, shallow well, and borehole had differing median amounts of arsenic, copper, zinc, and nickel, and this difference was statistically significant (p < 0.05). Arsenic, copper, zinc, and nickel median concentrations varied between the dry and wet seasons, and this variation was statistically significant (p < 0.05). Both carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic health indices (HI) were below the threshold values, though some individual sources may have shown levels beyond the upper limit of concentration.