Title: Human health risk assessment and disease profile from exposure to toxic chemicals in water bodies by artisanal miners in Bogoso in Prestea Huni Valley District, Ghana
Authors and Affiliations: Samuel Obiri1, Samuel Jerry Cobbina2, F.A. Armah3, Edward Antwi5, B. Ason4
1Environmental Chemistry Division, Water Research Institute, Achimota, Ghana
2School of the Environment, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, P. R. China
3Department of Geography, University of Western Ontario, Canada
4CSIR - Soil Research Institute, Accra Centre, Accra, Ghana 5Department of Chemical Engineering, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana
Abstract: Human health risk assessment from exposure to toxic chemicals via the activities of small – scale miners in the Prestea Huni Valley District, Ghana in line with USEPA risk assessment guidelines. In all a total of 120 water samples were collected from surface and ground water bodies in the study area that has been impacted upon by artisanal miners. Analytical concentrations of arsenic, mercury, cadmium, manganese and lead were used as input parameters to calculate the cancer and non – cancer health via exposure to these chemicals in surface/groundwater based occupational based occupational exposure scenario using central tendency exposure (CTE) and reasonable maximum exposure (RME) parameters respectively. The results of the non - cancer human health risk assessment via CTE parameters expressed in terms of hazard indices are; 0.98 (Cd), 1.23 (Pb), 1.46 (Hg), 6.90 (As) and 3.8 (Mn) faced by small – scale miners. The hazard index was to be above the acceptable value of 1.0. This suggest that the small – scale miners in the study area are at risk of contracting non – cancerous diseases such as upper respiratory tract infection, diabetes mellitus, hyper skin pigmentation etc. An epidemiological survey of diseases reported at the district hospital in Bogoso shows that 4,380 of the small – scale miners reported of upper respiratory tract infections (e.g., silicosis), 4,386 had been diagnosed of diabetes mellitus and 3,544 had skin rashes, pigmentation, ulcers etc. The results of disease profile survey among the miners are in tandem with the non – cancer human health risk results obtained.