Application of Pollution Indices and Health Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in the waters of a South-eastern Nigeria River

Document Type : Original Research Paper


Department of Zoology and Environmental Biology, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Nigeria.


This study on the heavy metal content of a local drinking water source in South-east Nigeria was carried out in 3 sampling stations between May 2019 and October 2019. Pollution indices and health risk assessment for non-carcinogenic were used to check the water’s suitability for human consumption. The indices were heavy metal pollution index (HPI) and Contamination Index (Cd). Eight metals were evaluated with standard methods and compared with Nigerian and WHO drinking water standards. Some metals like iron, lead and cadmium exceeded the recommended limits. The stations Heavy Metal Pollution Index ranged between 511.4 and 512.4 while the monthly values ranged between 279.8 and 547.6; all exceeding the threshold value of 100. Contamination Index ranged between 3.12 and 3.32 (stations) and -0.80 to 4.80 (month) indicating high contamination potential and low to high contamination potentials respectively. All the hazard indices also exceeded one (1). Stations 1 and 2 were higher in all the indices. All the indices were linked the high values of iron, lead and cadmium, influenced by sand mining activities. The pollution indices and Health Risk Assessment converged to show that the waters of Iyiakwu River are not fit for human consumption. The children are more vulnerable since it the main source of drinking water in the area.


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