Assessment of Heavy Metals and Radionuclides Concentration in Selected Mineral Waters Available on the Polish Market

Małgorzata Wojtkowska, Karol Wojciech Wojtkowski, Magdalena Długosz-Lisiecka

This research examined samples of mineral water available on the Polish market. The contents of radionuclides in 12 samples of water were determined: cesium 137Cs, thorium 232Th, potassium 40K, and radium 226Ra; and heavy metals: zinc, copper, chromium, nickel, lead, cadmium, and mercury. Spectrometric analysis showed the presence of a 232Th track in one sample (Franciszek water) with a concentration of 2.4 ± 2.1 mBq/L above the LLD (low limit of detection); 40K potassium was detected in all samples. In the case of radium 226Ra, its presence above the detection threshold was found in nine water samples. No artificial element 137Cs was found in the mineral waters. The tests showed the concentrations of heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, and Pb) present in the waters. The limit values are specified by the Ministry of Health Regulation. Copper, cadmium, and chromium did not exceed the permissible values. In the case of nickel, the normalized values (20 μg/L) were exceeded in only two waters: Słotwinka and Józefowianka. Only in the Amita water did we find that the value of 1.0 μg/L was exceeded. The concentration of zinc, for which no limit is set in the regulation, was the highest, ranging from 287 to 1.30 μg/L. The greatest threat to people drinking the studied mineral waters is lead, which in eight waters exceeded the permissible value of 10 μg/L.

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