ASSESSMENT OF TOBACCO COMPANY EFFLUENT FOR RADIOACTIVITY AND OTHER PARAMETERS FOR GROUNDWATER AROUND THE COMPANY IN CHIKAJI, ZARIA, KADUNA, NIGERIA

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ASSESSMENT OF TOBACCO COMPANY EFFLUENT FOR RADIOACTIVITY AND OTHER PARAMETERS FOR GROUNDWATER AROUND THE COMPANY IN CHIKAJI, ZARIA, KADUNA, NIGERIA

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1  Background

Drinking water sourced from deep wells and boreholes are usually expected to have high concentration of radioactive nuclides. This is because they pass through fractures in bedrocks or within the soil which contains minerals deposits that might have radioactive constituents and thus leaking into the water ways. Radioactivity in drinking water is one of the major ways in which radionuclides from the environment gets into the human body, which might consequently lead to radiation-induced disorderness (USEPA, 2010). There is evidence from both human and animal studies that radiation exposure at low to moderate doses may increase the long term incidence of cancer and that the rate of genetic malformations may be increased by radiation over exposure (Otton, 1994). It is therefore important to determine the amount of radioactivity in drinking water for every area where people live in, so as to guard against its health hazards (WHO, 2006).

Groundwater could be contaminated by radioactive materials because terrestrial radioactivity increases with depth in the earth crust (WHO, 1998). These radioactive materials occur naturally and of most concern are the uranium and thorium series and the progenies (radon and thoron). They contribute to the radioactivity of the rain and groundwater which in turn affects drinking water. Due to these, drinking water from deep wells and boreholes are expected to contain high concentrations of radioactive elements. Radioactive materials could also be washed into wells, boreholes and even enter through burst pipes. Important radioactive elements in drinking water are tritium, potassium-40, radium and radon which are alpha or beta emitters (Surbeck, 1995). People who ingest polluted water can develop illness and with prolonged exposure to radioactive polluted water could cause cancers, toxicity of the kidneys or bear children with birth defects (WHO, 2006). Knowledge of the naturally occurring radionuclide present in drinking water enables one to assess any possible radiological hazards to humans by the use of such water.

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ASSESSMENT OF TOBACCO COMPANY EFFLUENT FOR RADIOACTIVITY AND OTHER PARAMETERS FOR GROUNDWATER AROUND THE COMPANY IN CHIKAJI, ZARIA, KADUNA, NIGERIA