Nuclear/Health Physics and Environment

The Health Physics and Environment theme emerged in mid 90s when the then Medical and Health Physics Option of the Engineering Physics programme was split into two.  While Medical Physics remained alone as an option, the Environment theme, then freshly being recognized as fundamental to achieving sustainable national development, was joined with Health Physics to form the Health Physics and Environment option.

It is now generally recognized that the environment is inexorably linked with both human and animal health – leading to the concept of One Health.  The Health Physics and Environment research group is generally interested in unraveling the environment-health nexus. In this context,  we engage in the determination of the exposure to environmental hazards of various subpopulation groups in Nigeria – particularly those of heightened susceptibility and vulnerability. Our research involves both actual measurements (based largely on methods rooted in Physics) and mathematical modeling. Ultimately, we evaluate the relative risks posed to human health by these hazards at the various exposure levels and advocate for comprehensive holistic measures to manage these risks with national sustainable development in view.

Traditionally, Health Physics developed around the nuclear industry and is concerned largely with the measurement and protection against ionizing radiation.  Our Research Group continues to be very active in this traditional field via measurements of both naturally-occurring radioisotopes and other anthropogenic sources of ionizing radiation associated with nuclear-research, hospitals, and industries. Additionally, we actively engage in researches involving non-ionizing radiation (in the GSM industry), particulate matter in air, toxic and essential elements in various biological and environmental media, pesticides in foods and the environment, and noise.  Since the 1990s, we have established a leadership position in Nigeria in the measurement and modeling of air pollution arising from household, industrial and transport sources.

Risks attributable to these various hazards are assessed using various models, both proprietary and those developed by us locally. We continue to collaborate very closely with the Nuclear Physics, the Geo-Physics, and the Medical Physics Groups in the Department