Risk Assessment of Exposure to Lead in Tap Water among Residents of Seri Kembangan, Selangor state, Malaysia.
ABSTRACT A cross sectional study was conducted to estimate risk of exposure to lead via tap water ingestion pathway for the population of Seri Kembangan (SK).
By using purposive sampling method, 100 respondents who fulfilled the inclusive criteria were selected from different housing areas of SK based on geographical population distribution. Residents with filtration systems installed were excluded from the study. Questionnaires were administered to determine water consumption-related information and demographics. Two water samples (first-flushed and fully-flushed samples) were collected from kitchen tap of each household using HDPE bottles. A total of 200 water samples were collected and lead concentrations were determined using a Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (GFAAS).
Mean lead concentration in first-flushed samples was 3.041± SD 6.967µg/L and 1.064± SD 1.103µg/L for fully-flushed samples. Of the first-flushed samples, four (4) had exceeded the National Drinking Water Quality Standard (NDWQS) lead limit value of 10µg/L while none of the fully-flushed samples had lead concentration exceeded the limit. There was a significant difference between first-flushed samples and fully-flushed samples and flushing had elicited a significant change in lead concentration in the water (Z = -5.880, p<0.05). It was also found that lead concentration in both first-flushed and fully flushed samples was not significantly different across nine (9) areas of Seri Kembangan (p>0.05). Serdang Jaya was found to have the highest lead concentration in first-flushed water (mean= 10.44± SD 17.83µg/L) while Taman Universiti Indah had the highest lead concentration in fully-flushed water (mean=1.45± SD 1.83µg/L). Exposure assessment found that the mean chronic daily intake (CDI) was 0.028± SD 0.034µgday-1kg-1. None of the hazard quotient (HQ) value was found to be greater than 1.
The overall quality of water supply in SK was satisfactory because most of the parameters tested in this study were within the range of permissible limit and only a few samples had exceeded the standard values for lead and pH. Non-carcinogenic risk attributed to ingestion of lead in SK tap water was found to be negligible.