Health risk assessment, water quality indices and reproductive hormone profile among Abakpa citizens in Enugu metropolis
Author(s): Emmanuel PO, Otitoju O and Ikwebe J
Abstract: Numerous substances has been attributed to elicit endocrine-disruption and may potentially affect healthy reproductive functions. This study was carried out to determine the health risk assessment, water quality indices and reproductive hormone profile among citizens of Abakpa in Enugu metropolis. Ten (10) water sampling points comprising of wells and streams were analyzed for chemical properties such BOD, COD, DO, pH, TSS, TDS, Total Hardness, and Alkalinity and Heavy metal composition such as Zinc (Zn), Lead (Pb), Chromium (Cr), Cadmium (Cd) and Mercury (Hg) using the American Public Health Association’s (APHA) guidelines and Atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS) respectively. Five (5) blood samples comprising males and females was collected across the sampling areas and assayed for reproductive hormone profile such as Testosterone, Follicle Stimulating Hormone, Progesterone, Prolactin, Estradiol and the enzyme Aromatase was using the ELISA kit method. The result of chemical properties such as TSS, TDS, COD, Total hardness and Alkalinity were all within World Health Organization (WHO) stipulated limits, whereas DO, BOD and pH were higher than WHO limits across all sampling points from the sampling area. Some parameters showed significance difference while some sample did not at different sampling locations at 95% confidence level. The result of heavy metals showed very high concentrations of analyzed metals with Hg present in five water samples from Abakpa at concentrations ranging from 0.01 to 1.96 ppm. Pb concentration ranged between 0.06-0.35 ppm; Zn 24.93- 33.65 ppm; Cr 0.00 – 0.23 ppm; Cd. 0.11 – 0.17 ppm across all sampling points. All the result of reproductive hormone showed lower concentration of testosterone in men (1.99 to 2.19 ng/ml) and high concentration in females (2.03 to 2.06 ng/ml) across all sampling points. The concentration of FSH was in the range of 0.67 to 0.77 ng/ml in males, while the level was between 0.71 to 0.83 ng/ml in female. Prolactin results was 3.49 to 3.86 ng/ml for males and 3.44 to 3.59 ng/ml in females. Estradiol levels were 8.48 to 9.54 ng/ml and 9.61 to 9.84 ng/ml for females and males respectively. However, progesterone level were between 34.08 to 37.45 ng/ml for females and 36.48 to 39.56 ng/ml. The aromatase enzyme was averagely below 4.0 Pmol/mg in both male and female. The risk assessment showed low risk exposure but mercury had high risk exposure tendencies of 16.333 when compared to other heavy metals from all samples. Consumption of water in sampled area’s may pose a serious health challenge; high concentration of heavy metals could be attributed to the hormonal imbalance recorded in the research as most heavy metals is seen to reduce the expression and activity of 3β-HSD and 17β-HSD, which could be facilitated by high acidic nature of the water. Thus, interfering with steroidogenesis. Therefore, continuous monitoring of water quality in Abakpa in Enugu metropolis is highly recommended in order to ensure the health safety of humans living in such environment.