The borehole water samples within the surroundings of metal scrap dumpsites in Aboh Mbaise, Imo state were collected and assessed for heavy metals (Pb, Zn, Cr, Cd, Cu, Fe, and Mn) concentrations. The results revealed that all the heavy metals analyzed were detected in all the samples. The pH of the borehole water samples from B to E were found to be acidic (5.12 – 6.21) and below the recommended pH value for drinking water by WHO. Only sample A was found with pH value within the WHO acceptable limit. The heavy metals detected were all within the WHO limit for safe drinking water. The water quality index (WQI) model for the analyzed properties of the water samples revealed that the borehole water samples from the area were of good quality. Average daily dose (ADD) values were all less than unity. The order of hazard quotient (HQ) for adults and children via ingestion was Cd > Pb > Mn > Zn > Cu > Fe > Cr. The highest HQ value was recorded in Cd followed by Pb which indicates that these heavy metals may pose significant risks to adults and children who may drink water from the groundwater. The hazard index (HI) via ingestion for both adults and children were greater than one suggesting that there could be great potential risks to the health of both adults and children in the study area who consume the borehole water. A low to moderate contamination factor was observed for all the metallic contaminants in the samples. The pollution load index for all the metals was generally low in the study area, indicating that the water is unpolluted and no multi-element health implication in consumption of the water, but prolonged consumption can cause serious health problems. Even with low concentrations of these toxic metals as observed, regular consumption of the borehole water from these areas without treatment may pose long term health effects due to metal bioaccumulation in the human system. It is therefore suggested that adequate measures should be geared toward regulating the activities of metal scrap dealers in the area.
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