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Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology
Volume 85, 2021, 103638

Emerging pollutants in Nigeria: A systematic review

Chukwuebuka Egbunaa,b.g, Cecilia N. Amadic, Kingsley C. Patrick-Iwuanyanwua,b, Shahira M. Ezzatd,e, Chinaza Godswill Awuchif, Peter Okechukwu Ugonwag, Orish E. Orisakwea,c

Africa Centre of Excellence for Public Health and Toxicological Research (ACE-PUTOR), University of Port Harcourt, PMB, 5323, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria.


Emerging pollutants represent a group of synthetic or naturally occurring compounds that are not normally monitored within the environment but can enter into the environment and cause different adverse ecological and health effects. This systematic review identified the various emerging pollutants in Nigeria. The following databases, ScienceDirect, PubMed, Google Scholar, and African Journals OnLine (AJOL) were searched to identify studies on pollutants of emerging concerns in Nigeria. A total of 933 articles were identified out of which 30 articles were selected to be eligible for the study. Over 250 emerging pollutants were identified and divided into 9 major groups which are personal care products, pharmaceuticals, industrial chemicals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds, pesticides, mycotoxins, radionuclides and electromagnetic radiations (Gamma radiation) and other pollutants of emerging concerns such as microbes, microplastics, and particulate matter. These pollutants are found in water bodies and underground waters, soils and sediments, biological systems, and ambient air at different concentrations with seasonal variations. Some of these pollutants act as endocrine disruptors, β-adrenergic receptors agonist blockers, oxidative stress inducers and can cause genetic alterations in DNA and epigenetic reprogramming through global DNA methylation, gene-specific CpG methylation and microRNA expression. Emerging pollutants of public health concern in Nigeria are on the increase and are threat to both ecological and human health.

Keywords: Emerging pollutants in Nigeria, Sub-Saharan Africa, Personal care products, Industrial chemicals, Volatile organic solvents, Pesticides, Pharmaceuticals, Niger Delta, Nigeria.

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