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Scripta Scientifica Medica

Content of heavy metals, uranium, radium and radon in drinking water from underground water sources in proximity to old mines

T. Yanakieva, T. Turnovska, P. Nedeva, R. Totzeva, R. Karaivanova


Regional Inspectorate of Protection and Control of Public Health - Haskovo In the Haskovo Province polymetal deposit fields have operated for many years. Some of them are the lead-zinc deposits near the villages of Sarnitza, Boyan Botevo, and Spahievo. Besides these, uranium deposits were mined in the past: The Fountain Plot is part of the Haskovo uranium-ore deposit and is situated 6 km to the west of the Bolyarovo district. Taking into consideration that in the past, a number of mines operated on the territory of the city of Haskovo and the Mineral bath Municipality, and also the absence of research into possible contamination of subterranean waters from them, we set a goal to investigate whether there is a Pb, Cd, As, Cu, Zn, U-234, U-235, U-238, Ra-226 and Rn-222 contamination of drinking water from the central water sources located in close proximity to the old mines in the Haskovo and Mineral bath Municipalities. In the month of November 2007 we collected 6 water samples from the above-mentioned water sources to investigate presence of Pb, Cd, Zn, Cu and As and to determining of the radiological indicators and taking and test of drinking water from 9 pumping stations for establishing the level of Rn-222. Content of heavy metals in drinking water from the studied pumping stations are: Pb: of 0 to < 0.004 mg/dm3, Cd: of 0 to < 0.004 mg/dm3, Zn: of <0.013 to 0.402 ±0.005 mg/dm3, Cu: of 0 to <0.018 mg/dm3, As: of 0.00095 ±0.00002 mg/dm3 to 0.0130 ±0.0002 mg/dm3. Content of uranium, radium-226 and total β-activity in drinking water from studied 6 pumping station are: U-238: of 0.0025±20% to <0.0250 mg/l, Ra-226: of 0.0481±25%Bq/l to 0.1315±25%Bq/l and Rn-222 in 9 central water source in the Haskovo town and Mineral bath Municipality are: of 3.5±0.6Bq/l to 185.5 ±10.4Bq/l. The total β -activity vary of 0.11 ±10%Bq/l to 1.12 ±10%Bq/l .


  1. The content of heavy metals in the studied water sources is within the per missible hygiene standard levels.
  2. The studied drinking water is not hazardous to the health of the consumers. The radiation analysis shows that the overall indicative dose is below 0.10mSv/year), which corresponds to the ordinance documents.
  3. The established levels of radon in the studied drinking water are probably due to contamination from the exploited uranium fields in the past.

Scripta Scientifica Medica 2009; 41(1): 75-80.

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About The Authors

T. Yanakieva
Regional Inspectorate of Public Health Protection and Control of Haskovo

T. Turnovska
Medical University of Plovdiv

P. Nedeva
Regional Inspectorate of Public Health Protection and Control of Plovdiv

R. Totzeva
National Center of Radiobiology and Radiation Protection of Sofia

R. Karaivanova
Regional Inspectorate of Public Health Protection and Control of Haskovo

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