Publisher: National Agricultural Research Projects

Heavy Metals In Soils of Auto- Mechanic Shops and Refuse Dumpsites In Makurdi Nigeria

Leke Luter, Akaahan Terngu J, Simon Attah
KEYWORDS: Heavy metals, pollution, auto-mechanic shops, waste dumpsites


 Dumpsites soil samples in Apir and North Bank Auto- mechanic workshop locations in Makurdi, the Benue State capital located on latitude 7 0 44'N and longitude 8 0 32’E of the Equator situated in a valley in north central Nigeria, 100m above sea level, were collected and analyzed for content of selected heavy metals. These locations were chosen for investigation, being the major mechanic workshops sites in Makurdi; and most mechanic workshop waste are made up of metals. Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (UnicamSolaar32 model) was used for analyzing the digested soil samples for heavy metal content. Mean concentrations of the selected heavy metals in the dumpsite soil at Apir were 0.003 mg/Kg, 0.2414 mg/Kg, 0.2552 mg/Kg, 0.1882 mg/Kg and 0.0210 mg/Kg for Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb and Ni respectively while in North bank the mean concentrations were 0.0178 mg/Kg, 0.2688 mg/Kg, 0.1869 mg/Kg, 0.5701 mg/Kg and 0.2431 mg/Kg for Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb and Ni respectively .The results from both locations were higher than their controls indicating a clear case of pollution. Heavy metals from the wastes were suspected to be the feeding source in the soils. Such a situation could be regarded as “unsafe” as these metals are eventually taken up by plants and subsequently get into the food chain. Ground and surface water quality is also threatened as these heavy metals get leached and washed into them, making the water unfit for human consumption. Advocacy of waste disposal and its effects with legislation are recommended. This study is important to the host communities of the auto-mechanic locations as a source of awareness of the environmental effects of refuse dumpsite soils. It will also form a baseline of the environmental effects of indiscriminate dumping of refuse. Previous studies have not recognized auto-mechanic shops dumpsites and it will make for research in this area.

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