Genotoxicity Assessment of Contaminated Drinking Water Sources in a Rural Community in Edo State of Nigeria


In most rural settlements in Nigeria, provision of potable water for drinking and domestic purposes is a big challenge; therefore analysis of drinking water is of great importance as contaminated water jeopardizes both the physical and social health of all people. Water samples were obtained during the dry and wet seasons from a borehole and a man-made lake constructed through self-help effort in Obazuwa community in Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State, Nigeria. They were analyzed for physicochemical parameters and subjected to cyto-genotoxic evaluation using the Allium cepa assay. Results of the physicochemical analysis showed that most of the parameters (pH, chromium, copper, chlorides, nickel, iron, zinc, cadmium, lead and manganese) of the lake water in both seasons exceeded World Health Organisation (WHO) permissible limits. Total heterotrophic bacteria and E. coli were present with dry season water samples having higher amounts. Compared to the control, the mitotic index decreased significantly (p < 0.05) in the water samples and were characterized by a number of chromosomal aberrations notably bridges, fragments, sticky chromosomes, disoriented chromosomes, and micronuclei in significant amounts and these were more pronounced in water samples obtained during the dry season. The findings in this study are of public health relevance as access to safe water is a fundamental human need and therefore, a basic human right.

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Olorunfemi, D. , Olorunfemi, O. and Agbozu, I. (2014) Genotoxicity Assessment of Contaminated Drinking Water Sources in a Rural Community in Edo State of Nigeria. Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection, 2, 52-59. doi: 10.4236/gep.2014.22009.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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