European Journal of Biotechnology and Bioscience

European Journal of Biotechnology and Bioscience


European Journal of Biotechnology and Bioscience
European Journal of Biotechnology and Bioscience
Vol. 8, Issue 5 (2020)

Assessment of public health risk of heavy metals from contaminated water, soil and edible vegetables in selected areas of nasarawa state, Nigeria


Madugu MR, Olalubi AO, Adamu MO

This study assessed the public health risk of heavy metals from contaminated water, soil and edible vegetables in selected industrialized area of Lafia, Nasarawa State, North Central Nigeria. A total of ten (10) contaminated water, edible vegetables and soil samples were collected within different proximate locations of human anthropogenic activities in Lafia Local Government and analysed for the presence of heavy metals using standard methods. Four (4) varieties of edible vegetables namely: Telfairia occidentalis, Amaranthus hybridus, Talinun Triangulare and Corchorus sp. were investigated for the presence of heavy metals and soil-vegetable transfer coefficients. One hundred and twelve (112) human inhabitants living within the sampling locations were selected using simple random sampling technique and assessed for health risk employing the Inductively Coupled Plasma-Atomic Emission Spectrometry Instrument (ICP–AES) with axial viewing configuration. Seven (7) heavy metals were detected in all samples analysed. Among such includes Cd, Cu, Zn, Mn, Pb, Fe and Ni. The mean contamination degree was highest for Fe (106.02) and lowest for Pb (0.05). The Pollution Load Index of soil was >1 while those of water and edible vegetables were less than 1. The mean risk index of heavy metals on the environment was in the order: soil (77.11)> edible vegetables (69.67)> water (66.39). Exposure concentration of the heavy metals on the study population for soil (mg/kg) is in the range of 0.73–98.90 ppm while that of water (mg/ml) is between 1.00–233.31ppm. Conversely, estimated daily intake showed varying results for the vegetables between the ranges of 0.001–0.034mg/kg. The hazard index was highest for Fe (4.298) and lowest for Pb (0.418) and this followed the order: Fe> Zn> Cu> Ni> Mn> Cd> Pb. The soil-vegetable transfer coefficients showed an efficacy of 1.99 for T. occidentalis, 1.52 for A. hybridus, 1.25 for Corchorus sp. and 1.01 for T. triangulare. From the data obtained from this study, it was observed that no matter how low levels of heavy metals are present in environmental samples particularly in vegetables, their presence pose health risk and is thus not desirable. The presence of cadmium, copper and lead in the edible vegetables analysed is a cause for alarm and denote serious public health risk to consumers of this food. Therefore, there is need for regular scrutiny soil, irrigating water, and foodstuff for heavy metals so as to avoid extreme accrual in the food chain which may eventually elude human health risks. Consequently, this study encourages environmentalists, administrators, and public health workers to create public awareness to avoid the consumption of vegetables grown in contaminated soils, hence reducing health risks.
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How to cite this article:
Madugu MR, Olalubi AO, Adamu MO. Assessment of public health risk of heavy metals from contaminated water, soil and edible vegetables in selected areas of nasarawa state, Nigeria. European Journal of Biotechnology and Bioscience, Volume 8, Issue 5, 2020, Pages 37-46
European Journal of Biotechnology and Bioscience