Potential Human Health Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals via Consumption of Root Tubers from Ogoniland, Rivers State, Nigeria

  • Dikioye E. Peters
  • Charity Eebu
  • Kpobari W. Nkpaa


This study was designed to investigate the concentration of heavy metals and their associated human health risk via consumption of root tubers cultivated in three major communities in Ogoniland, Rivers State, Nigeria. The concentration of heavy metals, especially, Cr and Pb in soil, indicates a moderate contamination (˃ 1.00 mg/kg) level. The concentrations of heavy metals in the root tubers Manihot esculenta, Colocasia esculenta, and Dioscorea alata harvested from Choba, Kpean, and Bodo City ranged from 0.20 ± 0.01–0.84 ± 0.04, 0.01 ± 0.001–0.09 ± 0.02, 0.01 ± 0.002–0.63 ± 0.04, 2.11 ± 0.03–11.8 ± 2.12, and 6.30 ± 1.18–118.6 ± 0.19 mg/kg for Cr, Pb, Ni, Mn, and Fe respectively, while Cd had the same value of 0.01 ± 0.001 mg/kg in the three samples across the three sites. The bio-accumulation factor (BAF) for Cd was ˃ 1. The estimated daily intake were below the FAO/WHO permissible limit, while the target hazard quotient (THQ) has a trend of Mn> Fe> Pb> Cd> Ni> Cr, and were ˂ 1 for all the sampling areas. The HI values for M. esculenta for children in Choba, Kpean, and Bodo City were ˃ 1, indicating that children among the local populace were susceptible to heavy metals health risks. The carcinogenic risk (CR) value of Cr indicates that there was appreciable lifetime cancer risk for Cr as the CR value in all the sampling sites were ˃ 10−4. Furthermore, CR values of Ni and Cd were also within the predicted lifetime risks of carcinogens. Heavy metal contamination of root tubers cultivated in Ogoniland may posed a great health risk to local populace especially for children via consumption of root tubers.


Heavy metals Root tubers Human health risks Ogoniland 



This research was done without specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dikioye E. Peters
    • 1
  • Charity Eebu
    • 1
  • Kpobari W. Nkpaa
    • 1
  1. 1.Environmental Toxicology Unit, Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of Port HarcourtChobaNigeria

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