ASSESSMENT OF SOME HEAVY METALS IN SOIL SAMPLES ALONG GUTTERS IN NKPOR, ANAMBRA STATE

ABSTRACT
Ten representative soil samples were collected along major gutters within Nkpor metropolis. The soil samples were digested using mixtures of HF and aqua regia in ratio1:1. The heavy metals contents of the digested soil samples were determined via Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer FAAS. Sample A had the highest concentration of heavy metal and the trend was Ni > Cr > Hg > Zn > As ~ Cd, it was followed by sample B with Ni > Cr > Zn > Zn > Cd >g > As, sample C had Ni>Cr >Zn>Hg>Cd>As, sample E had Ni > Zn > Cd > Cr > Hg > As. While sample D had Cr > Ni > Zn > Cd > Hg > As. Also the results of the sequential extraction of each soil sample indicated that Ni had the highest percentage bioavailability (49.61%), Hg (47. 72%), Cr (42. 19%), Zn (39.66%), Cd (35.10%), As (0.00%). The high concentration of Hg, Cr and Cd in most areas of the metropolis indicated gross contamination, which could have resulted from human activities, hence the need to adequately monitor the release of these toxic metals to the environment.


CHAPTER ONE 
INTRODUCTION
1.0      GENERAL INTRODUCTION
Minerals, metals and metalloids, toxic or essential, are present in soils or sediments in various forms with varying bioavailability, toxicities and mobilities. Heavy metals are natural components of the earth’s crust and the ecosystem with variations in concentration. They cannot be degraded or destroyed and they enter our bodies via food, drinking water and air [1].

Unlike organic contaminants, most metals do not undergo microbial or chemical degradation and the total concentration of these metals in soils persist for a long time after their introduction [2].

These metals are a cause of environmental pollution (heavy-metal pollution) from a number of sources. For example lead in petrol, industrial effluents and leaching of metal ions from the soil into lakes and rivers by acid rain [3].

Living organisms require varying amounts of “heavy metals”. Iron, cobalt, copper, manganese, molybdenum and zinc are required by humans. Excessive levels can be damaging to the organisms. Other heavy metals such as mercury, plutonium and lead are toxic metals that have no beneficial effect on organisms and can cause serious illnesses (3).

Therefore, with greater public awareness of the implications of contaminated soils on humans and animal health, there has been increasing interest among scientific communities in the development of technologies to determine the total concentrations of these elements of interest in the soil as well as their chemical forms.


The use of sequential extraction techniques to fractionate metals in soils and evaluate their potential effects has become very useful and well recognized (4)

1.1      SCOPE OF STUDY
This research covers the analysis of six heavy metals in each of the five selected drainage pathways or gutters in Nkpor. The heavy metals are mercury (Hg) Nickel; (Ni), Zinc (Zn), Arsenic (As), Cadmium (Cd), Mercury (Hg)

Soil samples were collected from each of the drainage systems as follows:

Five soil samples each along Nkpor/Enugu Old Road, Nkpor/Obosi Road (site for Geolis Cables Industry), Limca Road Nkpor, New Market Road Nkpor and Nkpor/Enugu Express Road.

The samples will be collected at a distance of 10 meters each to avoid bias. A total of 25 soil samples will be analysed to determine the total concentration of each metal in each sample.


1.2      AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
Heavy metal content of soil sample in some selected drainage systems in Nkpor will be investigated. As earlier on stated, heavy metals are dangerous because they tend to bioaccumulate i.e increase in their concentration over time. Also heavy metals can enter water supply by industrial and consumer waste or even from acidic rain and release heavy metal into streams, lakes, rivers and ground water.


Hence, the study will help in assessing the potential environmental impacts of these metals by determination of their concentrations in soils as well as the chemical form of these metals in the soil.

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Attribute: 52 pages  |  Chapters: 1-4
Format: MS Word  |  Price: N3,000  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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