Health Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals through the Consumption of Drinking Water from Riruwai Mining Area Kano State, Northern Nigeria


  • Badamasi H Federal University Dutse, Jigawa State, Nigeria
  • Hassan U.F Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi State, Nigeria
  • Adamu, H.M Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi State, Nigeria
  • Nasirudeen, M.B Federal University of Lafia, Nasarawa State, Nigeria



Adults, Carcinogenic risk, Heavy metals, HQ Value, Non-carcinogenic risk, Riruwai River, Total cancer risk


The objective of this research is to study the health risk of heavy metals associated with the consumption of drinking water from the Riruwai mining area Kano State, Northern Nigeria. The test samples were collected from various sources like underground mining area water samples, tap water samples, mining pond water samples, borehole water samples, and well water samples.   The concentrations of Arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), mercury (Hg), lead (Pb), and Zinc (Zn) were determined using atomic absorption spectrophotometer, and the measured concentrations of these metals were used to compute human health risk using the United State Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) model. The results of the study indicated that the concentrations of As, Cd, Cr, Hg, Mn, Pb, and Zn were ranged from 0.005-0.35, 0.001-0.15, 0.01-0.32, ND-0.14, 0.16-0.92, 0.007-0.10, and 2.85-20.03 mg/dm3 respectively. The mean concentrations of all the heavy metals were above the desirable limits recommended by WHO and NSDWQ during both seasons except in well water samples (RGW5) and few locations where the heavy metals were not detected. For non-carcinogenic risk assessment, the HQ values of children were considerably higher than that of the adults in all sampling stations. The HQ values were less than one (HQ > 1) in both adults and children. For carcinogenic risk assessment, the total cancer risk (TCR) of Cr, Hg, Pb, and Zn were within the tolerable limit of less than 1  10-6 in all sampling sites, whereas As and Cd exceeded the tolerable limit in the underground mining site, mining pond and borehole water samples. Children were more vulnerable to cancer and non-cancer risks from heavy metals than adults. High values of cancer and non-cancer risks in children call for more attention to this group of people. The researchers recommended that the water resources of the Riruwai mining area should be continuously monitored for heavy metals especially As, Cd, Cr, and Zn, and preventative measures should be put in place to protect the health of the inhabitants of the study area.


S. Varol, and M. Şekerci, “Hydrogeochemistry, Water Quality and Health Risk Assessment of Water Resources Contaminated by Agricultural Activities in Korkuteli (Antalya, Turkey) District Center”. J. Water Health. May 2018, vol. 16, pp. 574–599.

A.B. Nienie, P. Sivalingam, A. Laffite, P. Ngelinkoto, J. Otamonga, A. Matand, C.K. Mulaji, J. Mubedi, P.T. Mpiana, and J. Poté, “Seasonal Variability of Water Quality by Physicochemical Indexes and Traceable Metals in Sub-urban Area in Kikwit, Democratic Republic of the Congo”. Int. Soil Water Conserv. Res. June 2017, vol. 5, pp.158–165.

S.V. Mohan, P. Nithila, and S.J. Reddy, “Estimation of Heavy Metal in Drinking Water and Development of Heavy Metal Pollution Index”. J. Environ. Sci. Health A. December 1996, vol. 31, pp. 283-289.

L. Oyebande, and I. Balogun, “Water Resources Management in the Semi-Arid Regions of Nigeria”. Can. J. Dev. Stud. 1992, vol. 13, pp. 209-226.

D.C. Adriano, Trace Elements in Terrestrial Environments: Biogeochemistry, Bioavailability and Risks of Metals”. 2nd ed., Springer, New York. 2001, Pp. 867.

A.K. Tiwari, P.K. Singh, A.K. Singh, and M. De Maio, “Estimation of Heavy Metal Contamination in Groundwater and Development of a Heavy Metal Pollution Index Bby Using GIS Technique”. Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. February 2016, vol. 96, pp.508–515.

C.K. Tay, M. Dorleku, and L.K. Doamekpor, “Human Exposure Risks Assessment of Heavy Metals in Groundwater within the Amansie and Adansi Districts in Ghana using Pollution Evaluation Indices” West Afr. J. Appl. Ecol. August 2019, vol. 27, pp. 23-41.

A.Z.E. Bessa, G. Ngueutchoua, and P.D. Ndjigui, P.D, “Mineralogy and Geochemistry of Sediments from Simbock Lake, Yaounde Area (Southern Cameroon): Provenance and Environmental Implications”. Arab. J. Geosci. November 2018, vol. 11, pp.710.

Y. Lu, H. Khan, S. Zakir, Ihsanullah, S. Khan, A.A. Khan, “Health Risks Associated with Heavy Metals in the Drinking Water of Swat, Northern Pakistan”. J. Environ. Sci. (China). October 2013, vol. 25, pp.2003‑2013.

L. He, B. Gao, X. Luo, J. Jiao, H. Qin, C. Zhang, and Y. Dong, “Health Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in Surface Water near a Uranium Tailing Pond in Jiangxi Province, South China”. Sustainability. April 2018, vol. 10, pp. 1113.

S. Chowdhury, M.A.J. Mazumder, O. Al‑Attas, and T. Husain, “Heavy Metals in Drinking Water: Occurrences, Implications, and Future Needs in Developing Countries”. Sci. Total. Environ. November 2016, vol. 569‑570, pp. 476‑88.

G. Hu, E. Bakhtavar, K. Hewage, M. Mohseni, and R. Sadiq, “Heavy Metals Risk Assessment in Drinking Water: An Integrated Probabilistic‑Fuzzy Approach”. J. Environ. Manage. November 2019, vol. 250, pp.109514.

O.C. Kenneth, A.U. Kalu, and A. Francis, “Environmental Impacts of Mineral Exploration in Nigeria and their Phytoremediation Strategies for Sustainable Ecosystem”. Global J. Sci. Front. Res. 2017, vol. 17, pp.19-28.

P. Wongsasuluk, S. Chotpantarat, W. Siriwong, and M. Robson, “Heavy Metal Contamination and Human Health Risk Assessment in Drinking Water from Shallow Groundwater Wells in an Agricultural Area in Ubon Ratchathani Province, Thailand”. Environ. Geochem. Health. June 2013, vol. 36, pp.169–182.

Y. Ma, P. Egodawatta, J. McGree, A. Liu, and A. Goonetilleke, Human Health Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in Urban Stormwater. Sci. Total. Environ. July 2016, vol. 558, pp.764–772.

M.S. Sultana, S. Rana S. Yamazaki T. Aono, and S. Yoshida, “Health Risk Assessment for Carcinogenic and Non-Carcinogenic Heavy Metal Exposures from Vegetables and Fruits of Bangladesh”. Cogent Environ. Sci. February 2017, vol. 3, pp.1-17.

J. Pan, Environmental Risk Assessment of Inorganic Chemicals in the Mining Environment. A Ph.D. thesis, Centre for Environmental Policy, College of Science, Technology, and Medicine, Imperial College, London, U.K, 2009.

B. Wu, D.Y. Zhao, H.Y. Jia, Y. Zhang, X.X. Zhang, and S.P. Cheng, “Preliminary Risk Assessment of Trace Metal Pollution in Surface Water from Yangtze River in Nanjing Section, China”. Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. February 2009, vol. 82, pp. 405–409.

E.V. Ohanian, “Use of the Reference Dose in Risk Characterization of Drinking Water Contaminants”. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment”. 1995, vol. 1, pp. 625-631.

A. Naz, B.K. Mishra, and S.K. Gupta, “Human Health Risk Assessment of Chromium in Drinking Water: A Case Study of Sukinda Chromite Mine, Odisha, India”. Expos. Health. March 2016, vol. 8, pp. 253-264.

M.A. Abdullahi, Assessment of radiological hazards Around Ruriwai Tin Mines, Kano State, North-Western Nigeria. A Ph.D. thesis, Department of Physics Faculty of Physical Sciences Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria, 2017.

R. Dhakate, V.S. Singh, and G.K. Hodlur, “Impact Assessment of Chromite Mining on Groundwater through Simulation Modeling Study in Sukinda Chromite Mining Area, Orissa, India”. J. Hazard. Mater. December 2008, vol. 160, pp. 535–547.

M. Alhaji, S. Adamu, and L.F. Buba, “Assessment of Summer Heat Stress Condition for Tourism Development in Riruwai Ring Complex, Doguwa Local Government, Kano State”. Dutse J. Pure and Appl. Sci. December 2017, vol. 3, pp. 288-299.

APHA, Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 21st ed., APHA-AWWA-WEF, Washington, D. C, U.S.A, 1998

USEPA, Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund Volume I: Human Health Evaluation Manual (Part E, Supplemental Guidance for Dermal Risk Assessment)”. Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation, US Environmental Protection Agency, Washington DC, USA, 2004, Pp. 5-7.

S. Giri, and A.K. Singh, “Human Health Risk Assessment via Drinking Water Pathway Due To Metal Contamination in the Groundwater of Subarnarekha River Basin, India”. Environ. Monit. Assess. February 2015, vol. 187, pp. 1-14.

S. Zhang, G. Liu, R. Sun, and D. Wu, “Health Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in Groundwater of Coal Mining Area: A Case Study in Dingji Coal Mine, Huainan Coalfield, China”. Hum. Ecol. Risk Assess. July 2016, vol. 22, pp.1469-1479.

E. Ghahramani, A. Maleki, B. Kamarehie, R. Rezaee, M. Darvishmotevalli, F. Azimi, M.A. Karami, H, and Rezaiee, “Determination of Heavy Metals Concentration in Drinking Water of Rural Areas of Divandarreh County, Kurdistan Province: Carcinogenic and Non‑carcinogenic Health Risk Assessment”. Int. J. Environ. Health Eng. July 2020, vol. 9, pp. 1-9.

S. Fan, and X. Wang. “Analysis and Assessment of Heavy Metals Pollution in Soils around a Pb and Zn Smelter in Baoji City, Northwest China”. Hum. Ecol. Risk Assess. May 2017, vol. 23, pp. 1099-1120.

H. Alidadi, S.B. Tavakoly Sany, B. Zarif Garaati Oftadeh, T. Mohamad, H. Shamszade, and M. Fakhari, “Health Risk Assessments of Arsenic and Toxic Heavy Metal Exposure in Drinking Water in Northeast Iran”. Environ. Health Prev. Med. September 2019, vol. 24, pp. 1-17.


How to Cite

Badamasi H, Hassan U.F, Adamu, H.M, & Nasirudeen, M.B. (2021). Health Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals through the Consumption of Drinking Water from Riruwai Mining Area Kano State, Northern Nigeria . International Journal of Advances in Scientific Research and Engineering (IJASRE), ISSN:2454-8006, DOI: 10.31695/IJASRE, 7(5), 35–48.