Open Access Peer-reviewed Research Article

Potentially toxic element contamination and risk assessment of borehole water within a landfill in the Nnewi metropolis

Main Article Content

Chiedozie C. Aralu
Patrice A. C. Okoye
Hillary O. Abugu
Victor C. Eze corresponding author
Helen O. Chukwuemeka-Okorie


Borehole water has been used as a vital source of water for many communities. The pollution of these boreholes by potentially toxic elements using unlined solid waste dumpsites has posed a significant risk to the populace living around the dumpsite. This study investigates the environmental impact of potentially toxic elements on borehole water within the vicinity of an unlined dumpsite in the Nnewi metropolis. The upstream and downstream samples (16 each) were collected in wet and dry seasons. The potentially toxic elements analysis wasperformed using the methods of the American Public Health Association (APHA) under the required conditions. The quality of the boreholes was assessed using the World Health Organisation (WHO) acceptable limits for drinking water. The risk assessment was estimated for carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic risks using ingestion and dermal routes. The results show that the borehole water wascontaminated with potentially toxic elements through leachate infiltration, which exceeded the WHO permissible limits for drinking water at both locations and seasons. The upstream borehole samples were more contaminated than the downstream samples for both seasons, due to their proximity to the pollution source. The hazard indices of the ingestion and dermal routes showed that the borehole water poses serious cancer and non-cancer health risks for both locations. The results revealed that children are more susceptible to cancer and non-carcinogenic health threats than adults for both locations and seasons. The pollution indices of borehole water for wet season (9.028 and 5.728) and dry season (7.107 and 5.328) for upstream and downstream samples respectively, were polluted and the pollution was higher in the wet season. The borehole water samples were unsuitable for drinking water and should be treated before use.

potentially toxic elements, borehole, contamination, Nnewi, health risk

Article Details

How to Cite
Aralu, C. C., Okoye, P. A. C., Abugu, H. O., Eze, V. C., & Chukwuemeka-Okorie, H. O. (2023). Potentially toxic element contamination and risk assessment of borehole water within a landfill in the Nnewi metropolis. Health and Environment, 4(1), 186-197.


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