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Trace Metals in Groundwater of the South Eastern Piedmont Region of Mount Cameroon: Quantification and Health Risk Assessment

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Document pages: 21 pages

Abstract: The South Eastern Piedmont Region of Mount Cameroon is getting in-creasingly populated. Groundwater is the main resource for drinking in this area; hence, the quantification of trace metals, suitability and quality of the groundwater resources for drinking, domestic and agro-industrial uses is of public and scientific concern. In this study, 10 samples were collected from 10 sites in September 2017. Field measurement of physicochemical parameters and investigation of the levels of trace metal content in groundwater was determined using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectroscopy ICP-MS. R-mode statistical analysis has been done and traces metals elements correlated with the physicochemical parameters and cluster analysis PCA carried out. The paper also highlights and determines the average daily dose ADD, the carcinogenic risks CR and the non-carcinogenic risk hazard quotient HQ which yields the hazard indices HI. The general trend of mean trace metal concentration in the sampled groundwater was in the order of: Zn > Fe > Al > V > Mn > Cu > Cr > Ni > Pb > As > Co > Cd > Sb. All the groundwater risk indices; ADD, CR, HQ and HI were less than 1 in categories of insignificant health risk. The severity of metal toxicity is governed by several factors, such as dose, nutrition, age, and even life style. Therefore, this low trend might not guarantee the complete absence of human health risk. Generally, from risk assessment on trace metals using risk indices, the analyzed water samples might not be at an alarming health risk. However, due to an increasing level of environmental pollution that might be imposed by increasing human activity in this region, water sources might become a potential sink of contaminants; this is significant reason that makes constant monitoring, implementation and treatment of groundwater for drinking purposes obligatory.

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