Health risk assessment of heavy metals and metalloid in drinking water from communities near gold mines in Tarkwa, Ghana
- 514 Downloads
Concentrations of heavy metals and metalloid in borehole drinking water from 18 communities in Tarkwa, Ghana, were measured to assess the health risk associated with its consumption. Mean concentrations of heavy metals (μg/L) exceeded recommended values in some communities. If we take into consideration the additive effect of heavy metals and metalloid, then oral hazard index (HI) results raise concerns about the noncarcinogenic adverse health effects of drinking groundwater in Huniso. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) guidelines, HI values indicating noncarcinogenic health risk for adults and children in Huniso were 0.781 (low risk) and 1.08 (medium risk), respectively. The cancer risk due to cadmium (Cd) exposure in adults and children in the sampled communities was very low. However, the average risk values of arsenic (As) for adults and children through drinking borehole water in the communities indicated medium cancer risk, but high cancer risk in some communities such as Samahu and Mile 7. Based on the USEPA assessment, the average cancer risk values of As for adults (3.65E−05) and children (5.08E−05) indicated three (adults) and five (children) cases of neoplasm in a hundred thousand inhabitants. The results of this study showed that residents in Tarkwa who use and drink water from boreholes could be at serious risk from exposure to these heavy metals and metalloid.
KeywordsHeavy metal Metalloid Tarkwa Health risk Hazard index
This study was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology of Japan awarded to M. Ishizuka and Y. Ikenaka and the foundation of JSPS Core to Core Program (AA Science Platforms). We would like to acknowledge the financial support by the Mitsui & Co., Ltd. Environment Fund, the Akiyama Life Science Foundation, and the Nihon Seimei Foundation. We also express our sincere gratitude and thanks to Mr. Joseph Prah and Mr. Joseph Addae who in various ways assisted to carry out this research. We would like to thank Mr. Takahiro Ichise for helping with the maintenance of the instrument.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
- Akabzaa T., & Darimani A. (2001). Impact of mining sector investment in Ghana: a study of the Tarkwa mining region. Health Impacts, 6(4), 60.Google Scholar
- Asante, K. A., Agusa, T., Subramanian, A., Ansa–Asare, O. D., Biney, C. A., & Tanabe, S. (2007). Contamination status of arsenic and other trace elements in drinking water and residents from Tarkwa, a historic mining township in Ghana. Chemosphere, 66, 1513–1522.Google Scholar
- Bortey-Sam N., Nakayama S. M. M., Ikenaka Y., Akoto O., Yohannes Y. B., Baidoo E., Mizukawa H., & Ishizuka M. (2015). Human health risks from metals and metalloid via consumption of food animals near gold mines in Tarkwa, Ghana: estimation of the daily intakes and target hazard quotients (THQs). Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 111, 160–167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- ECETOC (European Centre for Ecotoxicology of Chemicals) (2001). Aquatic toxicity of mixtures. Technical report, 80. Brussels.Google Scholar
- ENHIS (European Environment and Health Information System) (2007). Exposure of children to chemical hazards in food. Fact Sheet No. 4.4, CODE: RPG4_Food_EX1. World Health Organization.Google Scholar
- EU (European Community) (1998). The quality of water intended to human consumption. Directive 1998/83/EC, Official Journal L330/05.12.1998. European Community (pp. 32–54).Google Scholar
- Ghana Statistical Service (2010). Population and housing census https://www.google.co.uk/#q=Ghana+Statistical+Service%2C+2010.+Population+and+Housing+census+ pp 93.Google Scholar
- Hayford E. K., Amin A., Osae E. K., & Kutu J. (2008). Impact of gold mining on soil and some staple foods collected from selected mining communities in and around Tarkwa Prestea area. West Africa Journal of Applied Ecology, 14, 1–12.Google Scholar
- Mead M. N. (2005). Arsenic: a global poison. Environmental Health Perspectives, 113, 379–386.Google Scholar
- PCD (Pollution Control Department) (2000). Groundwater standards for drinking proposes. Manual inspection of contaminated groundwater standards for drinking proposes. Manual inspection of contaminated groundwater from waste disposal facilities. Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.Google Scholar
- PCD (Pollution Control Department) (2004). Drinking water standards http://www.pcd.go.th/info_serv/en_reg_std_water01.html#s1. Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.
- Saipan P., & Ruangwises S. (2009). Health risk assessment of inorganic arsenic intake of Ronphibun residents via duplicate diet study. Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand, 92(6), 849–856.Google Scholar
- Smedley P. L., Edmunds W. M., & Pelig-Ba K. B. (1996). Mobility of arsenic in groundwater in the Obuasi gold-mining area of Ghana: some implications for human health. Environmental Geochemistry and Health, 113, 163–181.Google Scholar
- USEPA (US Environmental Protection Agency) (1980). Water quality criteria documents; availability. 45. Federal Register, 45(231), 79318–79379.Google Scholar
- USEPA (US Environmental Protection Agency) (1992). Definitions and general principles for exposure assessment. Guidelines for exposure assessment. Washington, D.C.: Office of Pesticide Programs, USA.Google Scholar
- USEPA (US Environmental Protection Agency) (1997). Exposure factors handbook (EPA/600/P-95/002Fa) (update to Exposure factors handbook (EPA/600/8–89/043), Environmental Protection Agency Region I. Washington, D.C..Google Scholar
- USEPA (US Environmental Protection Agency) (1999). A risk assessment–multiway exposure spreadsheet calculation tool. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Washington, D.C..Google Scholar
- USEPA (US Environmental Protection Agency) (2001). Baseline human health risk assessment, Vasquez Boulevard and I–70 superfund site, Denver CO http://www.epa.gov/region8/superfund/sites/VB-170-Risk.pdf.Google Scholar
- USEPA (US Environmental Protection Agency) (2009). National primary/secondary and drinking water regulations. Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
- Wayne R. O. (1990). A physical explanation of the lognormality of pollutant concentrations. Journal of the Air and Management Association, 40, 1378–1383.Google Scholar
- WHO (World Health Organization) (2001). Environmental health criteria 224: arsenic and arsenic compounds (Second ed., ). Geneva: World Health Organization.Google Scholar
- WHO (World Health Organization) (2011). Guidelines for drinking-water quality (4th ed., http://www.whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2011/9789241548151_eng.pdf). Geneva.
- Wongsasuluk P., Chotpantarat S., Siriwong W., & Robson M. (2014). Heavy metal contamination and human health risk assessment in drinking water from shallow ground water wells in an agricultural area in Ubon Ratchathani province, Thailand. Environmental Geochemistry and Health, 36, 169–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar