Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 24, Issue 16, pp 14040–14059 | Cite as

Spatio-temporal distribution of metals in household dust from rural, semi-urban and urban environments in the Niger Delta, Nigeria

  • Chukwujindu M.A. IwegbueEmail author
  • Ejiro C. Oliseyenum
  • Bice S. Martincigh
Research Article


Concentrations of metals in household dust samples from rural, semi-urban and urban zones of the Niger Delta in Nigeria were measured during both 2009 and 2014 with the aim of providing information on changes in the concentrations, distribution patterns, sources and risks of metals in these zones. The concentrations of metals in the dust samples were quantified by using inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrophotometry (ICP-AES) after digestion with aqua regia. The measured concentrations (mg kg−1) of metals in the three zones within the study periods were as follows: <LOQ–21.2; <LOQ–182; 7.90–265; <LOQ–117; <LOQ–471; 3.37–2310; 0.35–7.9; 4.25–365; 6.78–61,600; 219–37,700; and 1180–18,000 for Cd, Pb, Ba, Cr, Ni, Cu, Co, Mn, Zn, Fe and Al, respectively. The results from the two periods indicate significant changes in the concentrations, distribution patterns and risk factors which reflects a deterioration of the quality of the household environment over this time span. The hazard index (HI) values calculated for children were greater than 1 indicating significant non-cancer risks for these subjects in these areas. The HI values for adults were less than 1 and consequently do not pose a significant risk. The carcinogenic risk levels for exposure to metals for both adults and children in these zones were below the range specified as safe by the US EPA (×10−6 and ×10−4) thereby indicating a low cancer risk. The sources of metals in household dust from these zones include emissions from industries, traffic, artisanal workshops and releases from household furniture, metal-based fittings, metal roofing and pesticides.


Metals Human exposure Household dust Risk assessment Niger delta Nigeria 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chukwujindu M.A. Iwegbue
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ejiro C. Oliseyenum
    • 1
  • Bice S. Martincigh
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryDelta State UniversityAbrakaNigeria
  2. 2.School of Chemistry and PhysicsUniversity of KwaZulu-NatalDurbanSouth Africa

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