A review on the occurrence of some potentially harmful elements in the natural environment and their health implications: examples of fluoride, iron and salinity in the South-Eastern Kenya region

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dc.contributor.author Gevera, Patrick K.
dc.contributor.author Cave, Mark
dc.contributor.author Dowling, Kim
dc.contributor.author Gikuma-Njuru, Peter
dc.contributor.author Mouri, Hassina
dc.date.accessioned 2021-08-06T08:07:46Z
dc.date.available 2021-08-06T08:07:46Z
dc.date.issued 2021-08-02
dc.identifier.citation Practical Applications of Medical Geology pp 637-670 en_US
dc.identifier.isbn Online 978-3-030-53893-4
dc.identifier.issn Print 978-3-030-53892-7
dc.identifier.uri https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-53893-4_19
dc.identifier.uri http://repository.seku.ac.ke/handle/123456789/6329
dc.description DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-53893-4_19 en_US
dc.description.abstract Makueni, Machakos and Kitui Counties, located in the Arid and Semi-Arid land (ASAL) region of south-eastern Kenya, receive low and unreliable rainfall which necessitates a high dependence on groundwater for potable, domestic and agricultural purposes. The geology of the region is dominated by metamorphic rocks of the Precambrian Mozambique Mobile Belt and Tertiary-Pleistocene volcanic rocks both of which are known to have highly variable concentrations of diverse naturally occurring potentially harmful elements. The geochemical composition of local soils and groundwater reflect the chemistry of the parent geological material and this constrains the type and concentrations of elements and nutrients in drinking water and locally produced food. This review reports the occurrence of some commonly reported potentially harmful elements, fluoride (F−), iron (Fe) and salinity, in groundwater, farm soil and commonly consumed food crops in parts of south-central Kenya and considers their potential health implications. Drinking water issues are documented. The presence high F− in drinking water is associated with dental fluorosis in Machakos and Makueni Counties. Iron in Makueni and Kitui Counties is associated with an undesirable brown colour and taste in drinking water. Salty water is a common drinking water problem in most parts of Kitui and Makueni Counties that has led to the abandonment of shallow wells. Groundwater and spring water analysis show elevated F− (max. 9.30 mg/l), Fe (max. 7.60 mg/l) and salinity (max. hardness, chloride (Cl−) and magnesium (Mg) of 950 mg/l, 260 mg/l and 122.40 mg/l, respectively). In soils, elevated F− levels were reported in Kitui County while acidity and salinity in soil were reported throughout the region. The effects of high F− soils are not reported, but acidic and saline soils were found to be unproductive for maize and green grams farming. Chemical and nutritional analyses of food crops grown in the area are essential to determine overall health implications on the local population. Detailed soil and groundwater geochemical databases are required in the region in order to assess the potential health implications of the natural environment on the local population. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Springer, Cham en_US
dc.subject Potentially harmful elements en_US
dc.subject Groundwater en_US
dc.subject Soil en_US
dc.subject Food-crops en_US
dc.subject Fluoride en_US
dc.subject Iron en_US
dc.subject Salinity en_US
dc.title A review on the occurrence of some potentially harmful elements in the natural environment and their health implications: examples of fluoride, iron and salinity in the South-Eastern Kenya region en_US
dc.type Book chapter en_US


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