Home Institution

University of Vermont

Publication Date

Spring 2009

Program Name

Chile: Public Health and Community Welfare


Water is essential to sustain life, and the availability of safe drinking water is a concern throughout the world. This study examines the potential negative health effects related to drinking the potable water in Arica, Chile. It also looks at who has access to purified water. This study was implemented over a span of four weeks in which information was collected from different local resources including, the potable water distributor, private water vendors, professors, and public health service workers. In comparison with 2001, 2009 levels of boron, total hardness and total dissolved solids are higher in concentration. In both 2001 and 2009 the boron concentration measured well above the recommended limit by the World Health Organization. Previous studies indicate that high boron consumption has dentrimental effects in plants, flies and rats. Likewise, the hardness of the water and total dissolved solids have a concentration well over the limit put forth by the World Health Organization. According to previous research, the prevalence of these elements in tap water have been linked to the development of urinary stones. This study also found that the people with less resources tend to buy less water from the purified water companies. This indicates that they may have further exposure to the potential health risks posed by the potable water in Arica.


Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Environmental Public Health



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