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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