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The Niger Delta is unique in Nigeria because it is the home of Nigeria’s oil industry, with its attendant environmental hazards such as water, land and air pollution. Polycyclic aromatic hy-drocarbons (PAHs) are among the most toxic and persistent components of crude oil. The im-pact of PAHs in the environment will be determined by the types and quantity of each PAH. This study was therefore designed to screen some rivers in oil-producing Delta state for pollu-tion with PAHs. Water and fish samples were collected from six Rivers (Egbokodo River in Warri, River Ethiope in Sapele, Urie River in Igbide Isoko, Asaba-Ase creek, Aragba River in Abraka, and Uzere Creek) in Delta State. The levels of PAHs were determined in the water and fish samples, and also in the processed dry ready-to-eat fish obtained from the same rivers. Generally, all the 16 priority PAHs were detected in five of the six Rivers, in three fresh fish samples and three dry ready-to-eat fish samples. The highest mean concentrations (3.79, 0.91, and 0.89 ppm) of PAH in water samples were in Rivers Ethiope, Asaba-Ase and Egbokodo re-spectively. Fresh fish samples from Aragba, Oteri, and Egbokodo Rivers had PAH values of 10.35, 0.36, 0.09 mg/kg wet weight respectively, while dry ready to eat fish from Oteri, Asaba-Ase, and Sapele had 29.33, 23.96, 0.39 mg/kg, respectively. Total bioconcentration factors (BCF) ranged from 0.0-1.73 in the rivers, except for aragba, which had a very high BCF (554.6) for anthracene. The results from this study portend a significant public health risk. An immediate attention from Nigeria’s Federal Environmental Protection Agency is required in or-der to protect the river from further pollution and the people living in these communities.

Author(s): Olanike K. ADEYEMO

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