n Journal of Emerging Trends in Engineering and Applied Sciences - Studies on persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the Lagos Lagoon 1 : occurrence and levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in surface waters of the lagoon

Volume 4, Issue 6
  • ISSN : 2141-7016
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The Lagos lagoon is one of Africa's largest estuarine ecosystems. Its water receives organic input from a wide variety of sources; atmospheric, industrial, and municipal activities. Environmental impacts from PAHs continue to elicit global concern and attract attention especially in Lagos and its environs. Some PAH compounds which are toxic, mutagenic, or carcinogenic could be taken up and accumulated by aquatic organisms from polluted water, thereby resulting in the modern day diseases in humans. This research aims at assessing the decline of the water quality of Lagos lagoon due to land-based human activities in order to reveal the extent of exposure of humans to PAH risk. The research presents the need for control measures necessary for the minimization or prevention of PAH pollution to ensure a safe environment for our people. All the 16 USEPA priority PAHs were present across all twelve locations in high concentrations irrespective of the distance from the source point. They all exceeded the World Health Organization (WHO) and USEPA recommended maximum contamination levels. The majorities of the PAHs were four to six ring compounds and most predominantly were Benzo (a) pyrene and Pyrene. The pattern was the same for the PAH levels throughout the year. Increase in PAH concentration tracks closely with increase in combustion sources and automobile use. This study evaluated the trends in PAHs, a group of contaminants with multiple urban sources in water samples from twelve points on the Lagos lagoon between February and December 2004.

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