Assessment Of Tobacco Company Effluent For Radioactivity And Other Parameters For Groundwater Around The Company

Assessment Of Tobacco Company Effluent For Radioactivity And Other Parameters For Groundwater Around The Company


Twenty (20) groundwater samples, four of which are control samples, comprising of ten (10) borehole and ten (10) locally hand-dug wells were drawn randomly around British America Tobacco Company, Zaria. Some physical parameters: temperature, pH, conductivity and total dissolved solids were measured using thermometer, pH meter and conductivity meter. The samples were analysed for gross alpha and gross beta radiations using MPC-2000-DP (01872140) single channel analyser, a low background alpha and beta detector. The mean temperature, pH, conductivity and total dissolved solids in the water samples were found to be 27.8 °C, 5.1, 393μS/cm and 244.8 mg/l respectively.For practical screening purposes in the case of drinking water, the recommended guideline activity concentrations are 0.1 Bq/l for gross alpha and 1.0 Bq/l for gross beta activity (WHO, 1993; 2003). The gross alpha and beta radioactivity concentrations in the samples showed that the alpha activity varied from (0.007 — 0.133) Bq/l with a mean value of 0.046 Bq/l for borehole samples and (0.002 — 0.285) Bq/l with a mean value of 0.056 Bq/l for well water samples. The beta activity varied from (0.113 — 3.789) with a mean value of 1.627 Bq/l for borehole water samples and (0.001-3.810) with a mean value of 0.887 Bq/l for well water samples respectively. The mean for gross alpha activity and gross beta activity in the sample waters are 0.051±0.003 Bq/l and 1.251±0.091 Bq/l respectively.


1.1 Background-1
1.2 Statement of Research Problem-3
1.3 Justification of the Research-5
1.4 Aim and Objectives of the Study-6
1.4.1 Aim-6
1.4.2 Objectives-7
1.5 Scope and Limitations-7

2.1 Introduction-8
2.2 Water Pollution-8
2.2.1 Industrial Effluent-9
2.3 Groundwater-9
2.4 Radioactivity-10
2.4.1 Types of radiation-11
2.4.2 Interaction of Nuclear Radiation with Matter-14 Photoelectric absorption-14 Compton scattering-15 Pair production-16
2.5 Measurement and Assessment of Radioactivity-16
2.5.1 Absorbed Dose-17
2.5.2 Equivalent dose-18
2.5.3 Effective dose-18
2.5.4 Committed equivalent and effective dose.-19
2.6 Chemical Effects of Radiation-19
2. 6.1 Other Water Quality Parameters and their Impacts on Water Uses-21
2. 6.1.1 Physical Parameters-21 Chemical Parameters-23 Biological Parameters-27
2.7 Tobacco and Cigarette Industry-27
2.7.1 Wastewater Disposal Options-29
2.8 Health Implications of Radioactivity in Water-32
2.8.1 Biological Effect of Radiation-33
2.8.2 Describing water quality in terms of its radioactivity content-34
2.9 Review of the Previous Works-36

3.1 Materials-41
3.2 Methodology-42
3.2.1 The Study Area-42 Experimental Design-42 Sample Population-42
3.2.2 Sample Collection-44
3.2.3 Sample Preparation-44
3.2.4 Analysis-45
3.3 Instrumentation-46
3.3.1 Gross Alpha and Beta Counter (MPC-2000-DP)-47 Efficiency Calibration-47 Counting-48 Alpha/ Beta-Activity presentation-49 Contour Distribution-49
3.3.2 Measurement of Electrical Conductivity-49
3.3.3 Determination of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS).-51
3.3.4 Determination of Effective Dose.-52

4.1 Introduction-53
4.2 Results-53
4.3 Contour Mapping-62
4.4 Determination of Annual Committed Effective Dose-66
5.1 Introduction-67
5.1.2 Summary-67
5.1.3 Comparison of Results-68
5.2 Conclusion-70
5.3 Recommendations-72
5.4 Contribution to knowledge-72

Table 2.1 Different ranges of water quality based on radioactivity--35
Table 4.1 Physical parameters measured in the samples.--54
Table 4.2 Gross alpha and beta activity in the studied samples:-55
Table 5.1 Comparison of Gross Activity levels between Wells, Borehole waters and Tobacco wastewater around Tobacco Company-68
Table 5.2 Comparison of Measured Gross Activities in the study area with WHO and USEPA Standards and with Results Obtained from Other Places-69

LIST OF FIGURES Fig. 2.1: Dominant types of interactions as a function of the atomic number Z of the absorber and the energy of the photon radiation-14
Fig. 2.2: Deep injection well for disposal of hazardous, industrial and municipal wastewater, EPA Class I Well-31
Fig. 3.1: Digitalized satellite image of the study area-43 Fig.3.2: Measurement of electrical conductivity.--51
Fig. 4.1: Distribution of Alpha Activity in Sampled Wells and Boreholes Waters-56
Fig. 4.2: Distribution of Alpha Activity in the Sampled Water-57
Fig. 4.3: Distribution of Beta Activity in Sampled Wells and Boreholes Waters-58
Fig. 4.4: Distribution of Beta Activity in the Sampled Water sample-59
Fig. 4.5: Distribution of Alpha Activity in the Sampled Tobacco wastewater-60
Fig. 4.6: Distribution of Beta Activity in Sampled Tobacco wastewater--60
Fig. 4.7: Contour Plot of alpha activity distribution in the sampled well water-61
Fig. 4.8: Contour Plot of Alpha Activity Distribution in the Sampled Borehole water-62 Fig. 4.9: Contour plot of Total Alpha Activity Distribution in the Sampled water--63 .
Fig. 4.10: Contour Plot of Beta Activity Distribution in the sampled well-water-64
Fig. 4.11: Contour Plot of Beta Activity Distribution in the sampled borehole water-65
Fig. 4.12: Contour Plot of Total Beta Activity in the sampled water-65 .



1.1 Background

Drinking water sourced from deep wells and boreholes are usually expected to have high concentration of radioactive nuclides. This is because they pass through fractures in bedrocks or within the soil which contains minerals deposits that might have radioactive constituents and thus leaking into the water ways. Radioactivity in drinking water is one of the major ways in which radionuclides from the environment gets into the human body, which might consequently lead to radiation-induced disorder (USEPA, 2010). There is evidence from both human and animal studies that radiation exposure at low to moderate doses may increase the long term incidence of cancer and that the rate of genetic malformations may be increased by radiation over exposure (Otton, 1994). It is therefore important to determine the amount of radioactivity in drinking water for every area where people live in, so as to guard against its health hazards (WHO, 2006).

Groundwater could be contaminated by radioactive materials because terrestrial radioactivity increases with depth in the earth crust (WHO, 1998). These radioactive materials occur naturally and of most concern are the uranium and thorium series and the progenies (radon and thoron). They contribute to the radioactivity of the rain and groundwater which in turn affects drinking water. Due to these, drinking water from deep wells and boreholes are expected to contain high concentrations of radioactive elements. Radioactive materials could also be washed into wells, boreholes and even enter through burst pipes. Important radioactive elements in drinking water are tritium, potassium-40, radium and radon which are alpha or beta emitters (Surbeck, 1995). People who ingest polluted water can develop illness and with prolonged exposure to radioactive polluted water could cause cancers, toxicity of the kidneys or bear children with birth defects (WHO, 2006). Knowledge of the naturally occurring radionuclide present in drinking water enables one to assess any possible radiological hazards to humans by the use of such water. Manmade pollution of water is divided into two kinds: point source which is caused by discharge of pollutants from specific location for example discharge from factories sewage treatment plants and oil tankers into rivers, and non-point source which occurs from rainfall or melting of snow and the run-off washes away pollutants into lakes, rivers and coastal waters. Industrial waste is the most common source of water pollution in the present day (Ogedengbe and Akinbile, 2004) and it increases yearly due to the fact that industries are increasing because most countries are getting industrialized. Industries vary in size, nature of products, characteristics of waste discharged and the receiving environment. The major industrial categories in Nigeria are metals and mining, food, beverages and tobacco; breweries, distilleries, textile, leather products, wood processing and manufacture, furniture, pulp and paper industries and chemical and allied industries. Industrial effluents contain toxic and hazardous materials from the wastes that settle in river water as bottom sediments and constitute health hazards to the urban population that depend on the water as a source of supply for domestic uses (Akaniworet al, 2007). Groundwater quality is defined based on a set of health and safety regulations for domestic use. The World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for drinking water suggest performing an indirect evaluation of committed dose by measuring gross alpha and beta radioactivity and checking compliance to derived limit; the proposed limits are 0.1Bq/l for gross alpha and 1.0Bq/l for gross beta radioactivity(WHO, 2003).
Ground water used for public domestic supply must adhere to a set of regulatory objectives for health and safety than ground water used strictly for irrigation needs. Groundwater contamination occurs when manmade products such as gasoline, oil, fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals get into groundwater and could cause it to be unsafe and unfit for human use. Septic systems, hazardous waste sites and landfills are major targets of pollution because rainfall and groundwater leach these highly contaminated substances into rivers, stream and waterways (surface water) which are inadvertently used by people in that area. (Asonyeet al, 2007). Contamination of drinking water supplies from industrial waste is as a result of various types of industrial processes and disposal practices. Industries that use large amounts of water for processing have the potential to pollute waterways through the discharge of their waste into streams and rivers, or by run-off and seepage of stored wastes into nearby water sources. Other disposal practices which cause water contamination include deep well injection and improper disposal of waste in surface impoundments. Industrial waste consists of both organic and inorganic substances. Organic wastes include pesticide residues, solvents and cleaning fluids, dissolved residue from fruits and vegetables, and lignin from pulp and paper. This impacts high organic pollutants on receiving waters consequently creating high competition for oxygen within the ecosystem. (Osibanjoand Adie, 2007).

1.2 Statement of Research Problem

In developed countries, radioactivity measurement and other parameters such as TDS, are always part of water quality assessment. Many countries are now adopting the guideline activities recommended by the World Health Organization (Avwiry and Agbalagba, 2007) of concentration for drinking water quality. Reports from most African countries and even from Europe reveal some aspects of uncontrolled garbage, roadsides littered with refuse, and streams blocked with junk, disposal sites constituting a health hazard to residential areas, and inappropriately disposed toxic wastes (Henry et al., 2005; Tamiru, 2001). Reports have indicated that the manufacturing process produces liquid, solid and airborne wastes, some of which are potential environmental hazards and may even pollute surface and groundwaters (Gunatilaka, 2006; Novonty and Zhao, 1999; USGS, 2005). In growing tobacco, several chemicals are applied and these may also pollute ground or river water through run off from the agricultural land (Drake, 1996; Anonymous, 2006). Studies in ground well water near tobacco fields at Gboko, Benue state have shown large amounts of pesticides, pesticide degradation products, and volatile organic compounds and dissolved organic carbon all of which apparently originated from the chemicals applied on the tobacco in the field (Johnson and Connel, 1997). The tobacco manufacturing process produces liquid, solid, and airborne waste. Among those wastes, some materials, including nicotine, are designated by the EPA as Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) chemicals which are possible environmental health hazards. In the United States in 1992, the Toxics Release Inventory reported in the Statistical Record of the Environment that tobacco manufacturing generated more than 27 million kilograms of production-related chemical waste, of which 2.2 million kilograms were treated or released into the environment. Overall, the tobacco industry ranked 18th among all industries in total chemical waste production (Novotny and Zhao, 1999).

Increase in the radionuclide concentration levels has various health effects on the populace. These could be genetic or somatic; the genetic effects could be transferred to offspring while somatic effects could ultimately lead to death depending on the level of exposure. It is therefore imperative that basic study like this be carried out in order to investigate radioactivity levels in groundwater of the study area where Tobacco Company is located. This would ascertain whether the level of radioactivity in the groundwater system is elevated and or could pose any significant health hazard to the populace. The contribution of the tobacco wastewater to the groundwater quality of the borehole water and hand-dug well water in the study area, to the best of my knowledge, has not been documented. Such information would be important for the authorities to reinforce the laws governing the indiscriminate disposal of wastes for environmental pollution.

1.3 Justification of the Research

The fertilizer, for example, phosphate fertilizers, favoured by the tobacco farmers to increase the size of the tobacco crops contains the naturally occurring radionuclide, radium. (USEPA, 2015). Radium radioactively decays to release radon, which rises from the soil around the plants. Radon rapidly decays into a series of solid, highly radioactive metals (radon decay products). These metals cling to dust particles which in turn are collected by the sticky tobacco leaves. The sticky compounds that seep from the trichomes is not water soluble, so the particles do not wash off in the rain. There they stay, through curing process, cutting, and manufacture into cigarettes (USEPA, 2015). The pollution caused by cigarettes does not stop in our bodies or the air; it affects our land and our water supply. Millions of cigarette butts are discarded onto the ground every day. Most of the garbage collected on a daily basis from sweeping streets is cigarette waste, and these are only the ones that are picked up in and not ones discarded down drains and sidewalk cracks. These end up in the rivers and lakes, causing fish and other animals to eat them by mistake, this could ultimately result to their death. The ones in the streets left unclean are left on the ground to decompose which may take an average of 25 years while all of the chemicals and additives leach into the ground, polluting the soil and underground water. (USEPA, 2015) The tobacco leaves used in making cigarettes contain radioactive material; particularly lead-210 and polonium-210 which emit mostly alpha and gamma radiation. Polonium 210 emits highly localized alpha radiation which has been shown to cause cancer since the polonium 210 has a half-life of 21.5 years (Due to the presence of lead 210), it can put an ex-smoker at risk for years after he or she stops smoking (Brian, 2015).

Alpha and beta radiations are high Linear Energy Transfer (LET) radiations; hence they deposit energy at short distances and could cause serious biological effects to organs and tissues in the body. Beta particles are able to penetrate living matter to a certain extent and can change the structure of struck molecules. In most cases, such change can be considered to be damage, with results possibly as severe as cancer or death. If the struck molecule is DNA, it could lead to spontaneous mutation. Therefore, there is need to determine the specific activities of the radionuclides present as well as concentration of alpha and beta radiations in water. The gross alpha and beta counting is the preliminary test, as stipulated in the World Health Organization guideline for water quality determination. This survey is therefore important in the sense that it is concerned with the health of the populace in the sense that it will forestall probable radiological health effect due to the tobacco industry. It is equally economical because it will provide data necessary for complete purification of water in this area and if the water is safe some health problems will be eliminated and the government will save a lot of money for other developmental effects. Since government always warn about the danger of tobacco to human health, other bodies wishing to carry out surveys of gross alpha and beta radiations and the other parameters in water in a broader scope around tobacco industries will use this work as a reference point for detailed survey. Also the data from this research will form the basis for the radionuclide specific test and other parameters where the tests are necessary; hence the research will contribute immensely to literature.

1.4 Aim and Objectives of the Study

1.4.1 Aim

The aim of this work is to assess the effect of tobacco company effluent for the radioactivity and other parameters for groundwater around the British American Tobacco Company located in Chikaji area of Zaria in Kaduna state.

1.4.2 Objectives

1. To determine the gross alpha and gross beta activity concentration levels in well and borehole water samples around British American Tobacco Company, Chikaji in Zaria.

2. To establish the distribution pattern of radioactivity measured in the study area in order to identify and to compare the result with already established data.

3. To establish a base line data for the area of study.

1.5 Scope and Limitations

This work will cover measurement of gross alpha and beta activity and some parameters used for checking water quality in well and borehole waters from the study area. The extent of the work was limited to detectors and procedures available in the Centre for Energy Research and Training, Zaria. Other parameters such as TDS, temperature, conductivity and pH, which are used to check water quality, were carried out using portable calibrated mercury thermometer, conductivity meter and pH meter respectively.

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