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Effect of high aluminum concentration in water resources on human health, case study: Biga Peninsula, northwest part of Turkey
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Widespread and intense zones of silicified, propylitic, and argillic alteration exist as outcrop around the Biga Peninsula, NW Turkey. Most of the springs in the study area surface out from these altered volcanic rocks. The concentrations of aluminum (Al) in these springs ranged from 13.17 to 15.70 ppm in this region. These high levels of Al were found to exceed the maximum allowable limits (0.2 ppm) depicted in national and international standards of drinking water quality. Therefore, the effect of high Al in water resources on human health was evaluated in this research. A total of 273 people aged above 18 years and living in the Kirazli region (whose water supply is from springs emerging from these alteration zones) and in the Ciplak-Halileli region (whose water supply is provided from an alluvium aquifer) were selected as the research group. For this group, a questionnaire was completed that contained questions on descriptive characteristics of humans and a Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) was administered by the authors using the face-to-face interview technique. A neurological examination was then performed by the neurology specialist as a second-stage investigation. Finally, 10 ml of venous blood samples were obtained from these people as a third-stage analysis to determine the serum Al levels together with vitamin B12, folic acid, and thyroid-stimulating hormone parameters. The result typically revealed that the MMSE score was less in 31.9% and there was no statistically significant difference between the two regions. However, the result also showed that neuropathy in the history (including a careful past medical history) was significantly higher in the Kirazli region. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.