Exposures and risks of children to some toxic heavy metals in packaged drinking water

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November, 2018
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The exposure of children from the Kumasi Metropolis, Ghana to Arsenic (As), Cadmium (Cd), Lead (Pb), Mercury (Hg) were estimated in packaged drinking water. The purpose of the study was to estimate the exposure and risk associated with the ingestion of packaged drinking water due to long term exposures. The water samples were obtained from Adum, Bantama, Kejetia and Sofoline markets. Digestion was carried out using the Nitric-Sulphuric acid method. The digestates were then analysed using AAS, to quantify the heavy metals. Monte Carlo Simulation of hazard data was performed using dataset of heavy metals. Regulatory recommended values were used for contact rate of ingestion of water and body weight of children. Non-carcinogenic risk was evaluated for Cd and Hg. Additionally, carcinogenic risk of As and Pb were also evaluated. The results revealed that oral exposure to the Cd and Hg does not pose a health hazard threat to children who consume packaged drinking water. In dealing with Pb, the results revealed that the oral exposure to Pb in 50% of the packaged water does not pose a health risk; however, 5% of the packaged water samples pose a health risk to children who consume drinking water. Finally, the results for As revealed that oral exposure to As in 95% of the packaged drinking water poses a health risk to children who consume packaged drinking water. Therefore, this suggests that packaged water consumed in the study area may pose a significant health risk to children in relation to the presence of Pb and As.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Food Science and Technology, College of Science, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Food Science and Technology.