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Assessment of Human Health Risk Factors Associated with Using Portable Water from the River Benue at Makurdi

Enokela O. S, Utor S. O, Awulu J. O.


The non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic risk posed to children and adults by Cadmium, Nickel, Zinc and Lead concentration in River Benue water were evaluated in this study. Sampling for the metals was conducted on three locations in transect of north bank, middle stream and south bank making a total of nine stations. These metals were estimated as hazard index (HI) which took into account the combined effects from the heavy metals via the oral and dermal exposure pathways. It was found that the HI for children and adults via the injection pathway exceeded the safe limits in 100% of the sampling stations and was highest in ST3. For the dermal pathway, the HI was similar for both children and adults with highest in ST2-ST3 and found to exceed the safe limit in 33.37% of all location chosen in this study. The lifetime cancer risk (CR) for ingestion of the water with regard to the carcinogenic heavy metals (Pb and Cd) was found to be high in all the sampling stations for both children and adults, while it did not pose any cancer risk considering the dermal exposure pathways for both children and adults in all sampling stations. It was concluded that the river Benue water at Makurdi is currently heavily polluted as a results of unregulated agricultural and commercial activities on the river banks, which pose both non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic risk to the inhabitants that uses the water for drinking purposes.


River Benue water, Heavy metals, Hazard index, Health risk, Children and adults

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