Groundwater contamination by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon due to diesel spill from a telecom base station in a Nigerian City: assessment of human health risk exposure

  • Uzochukwu Cornelius Ugochukwu
  • Alfred Ochonogor


Diesel pollution of groundwater poses great threat to public health, mainly as a result of the constituent polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). In this study, the human health risk exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in diesel contaminated groundwater used by several families at Ring Road, Jos, Nigeria (as caused by diesel spill from a telecom base station) was assessed. Prior to the groundwater being treated, the residents were using the water after scooping off the visible diesel sheen for purposes of cooking, washing, and bathing. Until this study, it is not clear whether the groundwater contamination had resulted in sub-chronic exposure of the residents using the water to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) to the extent of the PAHs posing a health risk. The diesel contaminated groundwater and uncontaminated nearby groundwater (control) were collected and analyzed for PAHs using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The dosage of the dermal and oral ingestion entry routes of PAHs was determined. The estimation of the non-carcinogenic health risk was via hazard quotients (HQ) and the associated hazard index (HI), while the estimation of the carcinogenic health risk was via lifetime cancer risks (LCR) and the associated risk index (RI). Obtained results indicate that the exposure of the residents to the PAHs may have made them susceptible to the risk of non-carcinogenic health effects of benzo(a)pyrene and the carcinogenic health effects of benzo(a)anthracene and benzo(a)pyrene.


Groundwater Risk assessment Hydrocarbon Diesel Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons 



We appreciate all the laboratory attendants at International Energy Services for their assistance during laboratory sample analysis. We also appreciate the residents where the contaminated groundwater was located for their willingness to provide information during this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Uzochukwu Cornelius Ugochukwu
    • 1
  • Alfred Ochonogor
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Environmental Management & ControlUniversity of NigeriaEnuguNigeria
  2. 2.Department of Pure & Industrial ChemistryUniversity of NigeriaNsukkaNigeria

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