New Report Says Drinking Water in Lagos Polluted With Microplastics

New Report Says Drinking Water in Lagos Polluted With Microplastics

  • A new study about drinking water in Lagos has raised alarm about the high volume of microplastics found in them
  • According to the report, the microplastics were recently detected in human blood in the state but did not state its side effect
  • Lagos residents rely heavily on boreholes where these microplastics are found and the boreholes are stored in tanks above peoples homes

A newly published report has found that microplastics are now prevalent in drinking water in Nigeria’s commercial city, Lagos.

According to a Bloomberg report, tiny particles and flakes that are produced when plastic is not properly disposed of break down, and find their way into the environment where they can be drunk by animals and humans.

microplastics, Lagos, Drinking water
New study says drinking water in Lagos is polluted with microplastics Credit: Peter Dazeley
Source: Getty Images

Microplastics found in human blood in Lagos

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Researchers recently found microplastics in human blood for the first time.

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Every year, the world produces about 400 million tons of plastic waste, a United Nations report says. The World Health Organisation (WHO) issued a report in 2019 which says that microplastics were everywhere but did not disclose if it has any long-term health implications for humans.

The WHO’s director, Maria Neira in the department of Public Health, Environment and Social Determinants of Health said the world needs to know more about the health impact of drinking water.

Plastic pollution a major problem in Lagos

The study which was conducted by the China University of Petroleum and Covenant Univesity in Nigeria did not investigate the health effects of the microplastics.

However, the study was the first to look for the microplastics in boreholes in the Lagos area, saying they were abundant in the water and sediment in all the sampled boreholes.

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Around 90 per cent of the nearly 20 million residents of Nigeria’s most populous city get their drinking water from boreholes as they are thought to be less contaminated than surface creeks and lagoons.

The water is mostly delivered untreated and commonly stored in tanks above homes in the state.

Microplastics don't degrade and lasts for a long time

According to the researchers, the microplastics don’t spoil and if plastic pollution continues, it will result in increased accumulation in the borehole drinking water with time.

The report which was published in Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry saw the authors suggest that the government should guard against industrial sources of pollution more carefully.

They said:

“It is essential to develop general criteria for sampling and reporting on microplastics for further research."

Lagosians in highbrow areas may be drinking own faeces –Investigation has reported that in a country where there is a wide gulf between the rich and the middle class, living in highbrow areas like Lekki, Ikoyi and Victoria Island in Lagos is a sign of better life. The belief of many residents of the Lagos mainland is that those in these parts of the city are living large.

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This is more reinforced by the fact that the crème de la crème of the country have their homes in these places.

If one is to suddenly relocate from the mainland to either Ikoyi or Lekki, the belief is that providence has suddenly smiled on such individual.


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