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Title: Variations in levels of arsenic and other potentially toxic trace elements in Ghanaian soils and grains : human health implications for mining-impacted areas
Author: Adomako, Eureka Emefa
ISNI:       0000 0001 3398 7073
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2008
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Soil, plant and water samples from Ghana were analysed by inductively coupled plasma--mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) to ascertain the impact of gold mining on soil chemistry and grain quality. Principal component analysis (PCA) of soil trace element concentrations showed that while As, Co, Cu and Zn are the main trace elements influencing variability, As poses a more serious pollution threat compared to all other elements considered in this study. Soils from the Anum Valley Irrigation Project (AVIP) site at Odumase, located close to the old Konongo gold mine in the Ashanti region, contained up to 103 mg As/kg and paddy rice from this site recorded the highest grain As content (0.6 mg/kg) for Ghana grown rice. Results from water analysis indicate that surface run-offs from abandoned mine tailings into the paddy irrigation water (River Owerri) constitute the primary source of As pollution at the AVIP-Odumase site. Comparison of soil-shoot-grain As transfer in Ghana and Bangladesh grown rice showed that at equivalent shoot concentrations rice grain As concentration will be higher for Bangladesh grown rice. Both Bangladesh and Ghana grown rice, however, showed an exponential relationship between shoot As and grain/shoot As ratio, thus indicating a strong influence of plant physiological regulation on As transfer to rice grain. Results of regression analyses of soil-shoot-grain As, Cu, Mn and Zn relationships suggest a potential disruption of the trace element content of rice grain as a result of the geochemical and physiological repercussions of elevated As in paddy fields. Market basket surveys of indigenous and imported grains from Ghana showed that mean As content in polished paddy rice from Ghana (0.11 mg/kg) is 10 times higher than in the locally produced maize, sorghum and millet. On the whole, mining communities that depend on As-enriched water for irrigation of farmlands, as well as for drinking and cooking, face higher risks of dietary As exposure.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available