Public and environmental health implications of artisanal petroleum refining and risk reduction strategies in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria

Artisanal petroleum refining (APR) is often the use of rudimentary equipment to process crude oil into different products. APR is rampant in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria and is often outside the boundaries of the state law. Some typical products of the process include gasoline, automated gas oil, and kerosene. Despite the socioeconomic advantages, which include creating jobs, it poses significant environmental and public health concerns. This review focuses on the environmental and human health effects of APR in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria. According to the research findings, these actions have resulted in the loss of arable farmland, plant cover, household and drinking water supplies, and human food sources. In addition, these activities lead to the emission of harmful particles and gases. These pollutants have adverse health effects, including loss of respiratory and cardiovascular functioning, irritation of the sensory organs, and congenital disabilities. In addition, food safety concerns may ensue from improper management of the APR's effects. It is, therefore, necessary to mitigate the dangers linked to APR in Nigeria's Niger Delta area, i.e., through institutional strengthening and licensing of the artisanal petroleum operatives in the region and applying the environmental and petroleum-related laws in Nigeria. Furthermore, the enlightenment of the populace on the dangers of the long-term impact of APR is crucial.

 Richard Glory, Izah Sylvester Chibueze, Morufu Olalekan Raimi and Austin-Asomeji Iyingiala