Arsenic in Drinking Water Toxicological Risk Assessment in the North Region of Burkina Faso


Human health risks assessment were estimated by determining the nature and probability of adverse health effects in the North region’s populations who are now exposed to arsenic from drinking water or will be exposed in the future. Several questions were addressed in this study: what types of health problems may be caused by arsenic from drinking water? What is the chance that people will experience health problems when exposed to different levels of arsenic? What arsenic level are people exposed to and for how long? To answers these questions we have first identified the hazard by evaluating arsenic concentration in thirty-four (34) bore-hole water points among the region based on the assumption of clinical cases related to drinking water. Arsenic concentration ranged from 0 up to 87.8 micrograms per liter. Next we assessed the dose-response of exposure to arsenic. Dose-response relationship describes how the likelihood and severity of adverse health effects are related to the amount and condition of exposure to arsenic. This required us to choose toxicity reference values (TRVs) above which adverse effects may occur for noncarcinogenic and for carcinogenic effects. Exposure factors have been calculated in two scenarios: people from 0 to 14 years old and people from 15 to 70 years. Exposure has been estimated indirectly through consideration of measured concentrations of arsenic in drinking water. This study show that people in the Yatenga, Zondoma and Passore provinces are at very high risk for developing several pathologies such as hyper pigmentation, keratosis, cancer, etc. due by chronic exposure to arsenic in drinking water.

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J. Nzihou, M. Bouda, S. Hamidou and J. Diarra, "Arsenic in Drinking Water Toxicological Risk Assessment in the North Region of Burkina Faso," Journal of Water Resource and Protection, Vol. 5 No. 8A, 2013, pp. 46-52. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2013.58A007.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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