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Assessment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon concentration in some vegetables in rivers state, Nigeria

Author: 
Onuoha, S.C. and Karibo, O.
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have received great attention due to their potential adverse human health and ecosystem impacts. PAHs can readily be adsorb by plants via particulate organic matter such as soil sediments. This study evaluates the concentration of PAHs in vegetables in Rumuosi and Choba, Port Harcourt Metropolis, Rivers State, Nigeria. A total component of PAHs measure in Rumuosi and Choba were within of 9 – 16, 10 – 12 and 14 – 15 for water leaf, pumpkin and bitter leaf, respectively. Average concentrations of PAHs for water leaf, pumpkin and leaf ranged from 8.0E-5 – 1.03E-2, 3.0E-5 – 1.02E-2 and 6.0E-6 – 1.28E-2 mg/kg wet wt. respectively. The concentration of PAHs in the vegetables from Rumuosi were in the following ascending order: Pumpkin ˃bitter leaf ˃ water leaf, whereas in Choba, they were in following ascending order: water leaf ˃ bitter leaf ˃ pumpkin. The results indicate that PAHs concentrations in vegetables from Rumuosi and Choba are high and, thus, consumption of these vegetables may pose significant health risk to the populace who consume them on a regular basis. The communities in the study area should take a proactive and public stand against individuals who engage in illegal activities such as combustion of hydrocarbon materials, bunkering and artisanal refining. These activities result in a huge environmental footprint, seriously impacting livelihood and public health.

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