Program

PO2-10-9

DELAYED TOXICITY OF NIGERIAN CRUDE OIL

[Speaker] Udeme O Georgewill:1
[Co-author] Corelius Alozie:1, Owunari A Georgewill:1
1:PHARMACOLOGY, University Of Port Harcourt, Nigeria

INTRODUCTION
The discovery of the first commercial oil field in Nigeria at Oloibiri in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria came with constant exploratory activities and attendant pollution of the environment and exposure of the inhabitants and ecosystem to the toxic effects of crude oil.
OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
This study set out to investigate the delayed toxicity of Nigerian crude oil to albino rats
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Male and female rats were used for this study and were divided into control and test groups. Both groups received unpolluted food and water ad libitum for 14 days, thereafter when pregnancies had been achieved, and this was determined by the presence of sperm in the vaginal fluid and development of permanent diestrus dictated by vaginal smears and observation of physiological bleeding about the 14th day, the test group rats received crude oil polluted food and water for 7 days while the control group rats continued to receive unpolluted food and water. The weights of the rats were measured on day1, 7, 14 and 21. The activity, rate of pregnancies, deliveries and the size of new pups delivered to the rats of both groups were also observed.
RESULTS
Results obtained showed that, the rats in the test group lost weight progressively. Seventy percent lost their pregnancies while the remaining 30% that carried the pregnancies to term delivered undersized pups in the 1st filial generation. On the other hand, the control group rats progressively gained weight with 80% carrying their pregnancies to term with the delivery of normal healthy pups.
DISCUSSION
The findings of this current research, suggest a delayed toxic effect of crude oil on the offsprings of parent rats exposed chronically to crude oil and may in part explain the observation of increased frequencies of miscarriages, abortions, low birth weight and high infant morbidity and mortality amongst the inhabitants of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, a region that has been experiencing massive crude oil exploration.

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