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NSW Public Health Bulletin archive

Environmental health risk assessment of nickel contamination of drinking water in a country town in NSW Volume 19 Issue 9-10

Noore Alam, Stephen J. Corbett, Helen C. Ptolemy

New South Wales Public Health Bulletin 19(10) 170–173 Published online: 21 November 2008

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About the author/s

Noore Alam

Stephen J. Corbett

Helen C. Ptolemy


Objectives: To assess the health risks associated with consumption of drinking water with elevated nickel concentration in a NSW country town named Sampleton. Methods: We used enHealth Guidelines (2002) as our risk assessment tool. Laboratory test results for nickel in water samples were compared with the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2004 and the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality 2005. Results: The mean nickel concentration in the drinking water samples tested over a 4-year period (2002–2005) was 0.03 mg/L (95% CI: 0.02–0.04). The average daily consumption of two litres of water by a 70-kg adult provided 0.06 mg (0.03 mg × 2) of nickel, which was only 7% of the lowest observed adverse effect level (LOAEL) based on experiments on nickel-sensitive people in a fasting state. Conclusions: The mean nickel concentration in drinking water appears to have no health risks for the inhabitants of Sampleton.