Journal of Environment Pollution and Human Health
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Journal of Environment Pollution and Human Health. 2018, 6(2), 51-61
DOI: 10.12691/jephh-6-2-2
Open AccessReview Article

Petroleum Hydrocarbons Contamination of Surface Water and Groundwater in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria

Aniefiok E. Ite1, 2, , Thomas A. Harry3, Clement O. Obadimu1, Ekpedeme R. Asuaiko3 and Iniemem J. Inim3

1Department of Chemistry, Akwa Ibom State University, P. M. B. 1167, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria

2Research and Development, Akwa Ibom State University, P. M. B. 1167, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria

3Department of Geosciences, Akwa Ibom State University, P. M. B. 1167, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria

Pub. Date: March 24, 2018

Cite this paper:
Aniefiok E. Ite, Thomas A. Harry, Clement O. Obadimu, Ekpedeme R. Asuaiko and Iniemem J. Inim. Petroleum Hydrocarbons Contamination of Surface Water and Groundwater in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria. Journal of Environment Pollution and Human Health. 2018; 6(2):51-61. doi: 10.12691/jephh-6-2-2


Petroleum hydrocarbons contamination of the environment associated with exploration, development and production operations is a common feature in oil producing nations around the world, especially in a developing country like Nigeria where the incidence of facilities sabotage, operational failures, accidental discharges, pipeline vandalization and leakages, bunkering and artisanal refining is very common. Apart from poor governance systems, poor corporate social responsibility (CSR) of multinational oil companies (MOCs), poor environmental regulation of the petroleum industry, the inability of the political elite to effectively manage petroleum hydrocarbon-derived revenue, loss of petroleum hydrocarbons resource revenue to corruption and theft, petroleum hydrocarbons contamination of the total environment (air, soil, water and biota) have impacted negatively on the human health and wellbeing of oil producing communities in the Nigeria’s Niger Delta region. Findings from several studies have revealed variable negative impacts of petroleum hydrocarbons toxicity on the human health (including exposed populations), the natural environment and other ecological receptors. Over the past fifty–five years, the oil producing host communities in the Nigeria’s Niger Delta region have experienced a wide range of environmental pollution, degradation, human health risks, deterioration of our cultural heritage items and socio–economic problems as a result of various activities associated with petroleum exploration, development and production. Petroleum hydrocarbons contamination of surface water and groundwater is a notable environmental and human health problem in the oil producing communities and there are several water quality issues in the Nigeria’s Niger Delta region. This review examines some of the water quality issues and human health implications of petroleum hydrocarbons contamination of controlled water sources (surface-water and groundwater) in the oil producing host communities in the Nigeria’s Niger Delta region. It will further highlight some of the problems of petroleum hydrocarbons contamination and/or pollution of marine environments associated with unsustainable practices of petroleum industry in the region.

petroleum hydrocarbons contamination drinking water Nigeria Niger delta region

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