Fluoride Action Network

Fluoride levels in deep aquifers of Makurdi, North-central, Nigeria: an appraisal based on multivariate statistics and human health risk analysis.

Source: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment volume 193:477. | July 7th, 2021 | Authors: Iwar RT, Ogedengbe K, Katibi KK, Jabbo JN.
Location: Nigeria


Fluoride enrichment of groundwater has been adjudged to be a global environmental challenge in the past decade as most humans depend on groundwater for their domestic needs. This study was conducted to investigate the ionic and fluoride concentrations in borehole water and its associated health risk potentials to residents of Makurdi town and its environs, Benue state, Nigeria. Multivariate statistical techniques were for the first time used to explain the mechanisms of fluoride occurrence in groundwater in the study area. An aggregate of sixty-three (63) groundwater samples were retrieved from boreholes in twenty-one (21) diverse points within the study area and assessed for its physico-chemical composition with emphasis on fluoride content and health risk potentials following standard field and laboratory procedures. It was observed that fluoride content in the sampled water exceeded the stipulated safe limit of 1.5 mg/L in about 33.33% of the total samples and ranged from 0.34 to 2.06 mg/L with an average of 1.26 ± 0.41 mg/L. Moderate affirmative relationships were observed to exist between F and TDS, F and EC, F and Cl, and F and NO3 in the water samples indicative of a common source pollution. Principal component analysis (PCA) revealed that high fluoride content in the water samples was associated with the dissolutions from quartzite and shale into the underlying deep aquifers as well as from contributions from anthropogenic activities including fertilizer and pesticide uses. Fluoride risk assessment indicated that the hazard quotient (HQ) for ingestion of fluoride laden water exceeded the threshold value in 66.7, 71.4, 52.4, and 9.5% of the samples for infants, children, teenagers, and adults respectively. It was found that multivariate statistical procedures such as PCA and correlation analysis (CA) are capable of establishing the relationship among groundwater pollutants, while hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) was found suitable for explaining the likely sources/processes of pollutant enrichment in the groundwater. It is recommended that the findings of this study would serve as a basis for policy makers and regulatory bodies towards ameliorating the menace of groundwater contamination within the study area.

Keywords: Correlation analysis; Fluoride contamination; Groundwater; Hazard quotient; Principal component analysis.

*Original abstract online at https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10661-021-09230-8


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