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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 20 November 2020

Emmanuel Arhin, Raymond Webrah Kazapoe and Fulera Salami

The purpose of this study was to define and outline areas prone to disease causing elements by analyzing the spatial distribution and concentration of toxic and essential elements…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to define and outline areas prone to disease causing elements by analyzing the spatial distribution and concentration of toxic and essential elements in a section of the Voltaian sedimentary basin.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 2,668 soil samples were analysed by the inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry technique and were re-appraised by comparing with baseline values of elements accepted globally to be in soils. The concentrations of arsenic (As), chromium (Cr), iron (Fe) and magnesium (Mg) were evaluated. Factor analysis, hierarchical cluster analysis and principal component analysis multivariate techniques were used to identify the source patterns of the elements in the soils. The Getis-Ord Gi method was used to generate the optimised maps for these selected elements. These maps spatially defined and outlined high value clusters which imply potential pollution or areas with high background values (hotspots), whereas the low value clusters imply areas with low background values (cold-spots).

Findings

The multivariate analysis supports a dominant geogenic source of these heavy elements with obvious influences from variably metamorphosed mafic–ultramafic rocks known to have contributed to the deposition of sediments in the basin. The hotspots for As were located around Nalerigu and to the east of Nawchugu. A Cr hotspot was located to the east of Nawchugu with Cr cold-spots located within Nalerigu and Yunyuo. Fe hotspots were observed to the south of Nalerigu and the east of Nawchugu with Fe cold-spots around Yunyuo, Bongo-Da and Nagbo. The spatial maps demonstrated the presence of toxic and deficient areas of all the selected elements used in the investigation. Therefore, it suggested the likely health implications depending on the exposed elements, their pathways and recommended the usefulness of using the results displayed in the spatial maps to guide in devising appropriate remediation techniques.

Originality/value

This paper fulfils an identified need to study the distribution of elements and the possible effects it may have on the health and livelihoods of those residing in these areas.

Details

Ecofeminism and Climate Change, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2633-4062

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 17 May 2021

Raymond Webrah Kazapoe, Emmanuel Arhin and Ebenezer Ebo Yahans Amuah

This paper aims to review the known and anticipated medical geology problems in Ghana, to highlight the impact of some trace elements on human health and to reveal some essential…

1301

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to review the known and anticipated medical geology problems in Ghana, to highlight the impact of some trace elements on human health and to reveal some essential aspects of medical geology on health.

Design/methodology/approach

Literature and empirical studies relating to medical geological issues in Ghana were reviewed. Secondary data were used in the present study such as case studies, reports, geological bulletins and published research studies.

Findings

High levels of heavy metals including arsenic, cadmium and mercury in gold extraction processes through artisanal small-scale mining have contributed to high concentrations of toxic elements in the environment. The distribution and availability of these elements in the environment are facilitated by the geological, chemical and local environmental activities that are irregularly spread exposing people mining areas to pollutions. Exposures to these elements in above and below baseline levels contributed to health implications including fluorosis, intellectual or developmental disability and death in some regions of Ghana. Cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases linked to mining activities were also presented in this study. Similarly, non-communicable diseases can affect many people if correct measures are not considered. Following the geometric increase in mining activities, it is anticipated that deleterious environmental and health impacts associated with mining may persist in mining areas in Ghana. Reported implications and continuous contamination of water bodies in mining areas could result in high pollution levels beyond treatment for human use or destroy aquatic habitats and aquatic lives through acid drainage. Above-threshold concentrations of heavy metals in soils could bio-accumulate in crops, and this could pose deleterious public health implications on consumers. Continuous effects posed on the environment and public health may prompt communities, regulatory institutions and government to reduce or ban mineral development.

Originality/value

This review has significantly revealed potential public health issues from the impact on the natural environment and recommends that medical geologists work together with medical workers to devise preventive and therapeutic techniques to address many geology-related-health issues in Ghana.

Details

Ecofeminism and Climate Change, vol. 2 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2633-4062

Keywords

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