Ecological Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in Soils from Dumpsites within Umuahia, Nigeria
Keywords:Dumpsite, metals, soil, vegetables, ecological, risk
Communication In Physical Sciences 2020, 5(2): 124 -135
Authors: Jude C. Nnaji, and E. Chukwu
Received 15 March 2020/Accepted 28 April 2020
Ecological risk assessment of heavy metals at five dumpsites (1 – 5) in Umuahia, Nigeria was carried out. Soil samples were collected at distances of 0, 5 and 10 m from each dumpsite and from a control site. Samples of water leaf and African Spinach leaf
were also collected and analysed for heavy metal ions. Soil physicochemical parameters were determined using official and recommended methods while heavy metal ion concentrations were determined using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer. Results obtained indicated that the texture of soil samples were predominantly sandy loam while pH values ranged from 6.21±0.37 to 7.70±0.29. Organic matter content ranged from 1.65±0.52 to 4.15±0.36 % while electrical conductivity had a range of 98.47±7.25 – 201.57±15.86µS/cm across the dumpsites. Mean concentrations of heavy metal ions in soils from the dumpsites were
significantly higher (P < 0.05) than those from the control site. Average metal pollution indices showed that soils in the dumpsites are unpolluted except cadmium in Dumpsites 4 and 5. Degree of contamination values showed low degrees of contamination but enrichment factors for Pb, Cd and Cr in some Dumpsites indicated significant enrichments. All dumpsites had geo-accumulation indices less than 1.00 indicating unpolluted soil except Pb and Cr in some Dumpsites which showed moderate pollution. Ecological risk and potential ecological risk indices indicated low ecological risk. Mean concentrations of cadmium ions in the two vegetables from the dumpsites exceeded the Codex maximum limits for Cd in leafy vegetables. Although severe pollution is not pronounced for soils within the study dumpsites, it is recommended that measures should be engaged to control waste disposal in these dumpsites since heavy metals can bioaccumulate and increase in concentration to severe the environmental quality of the
dumpsites in the near future.
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