Heavy Metal Analysis of Soil Around Mine Sites in Ameri, Enyigba, and Ishiagu in Ebonyi State

Emmanuel Nyela Musa, Nasirudeen Mohammed Baba


Heavy metal contamination of soil, water and crops, and their health impact on residents, is a persistent social issue, and several studies have identified health risks of residents living near operational and abandoned mines. In this study, eight (8) homogenous soil samples were collected from mining sites in Enyigba, Ameri and Ishiagu in Ebonyi State, south-eastern Nigeria and analyzed for Pb, Zn, Ni, Co, Mn, and Ag. Metal concentration was determined using the Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (AAS) technique. Result for the heavy metals followed the trend: Mn > Zn > Pb > Ni > Ag > Co for the soil analyzed. However, lead (Pb) was only detected in Enyigba mining sites. Metal concentrations in some samples indicated soil contamination from Mn, Pb, Zn, Ni, and Ag, which showed high concentration than the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) (1986) permissible limit for heavy metals in agricultural soil; only Co was recorded at a concentration below the US EPA (1986) permissible limit for all samples analyzed. The variations observed for the heavy metals suggest that both geologic and anthropogenic activities may be responsible for their distribution.

Keywords: Anthropogenic; contamination, geologic; health risks; heavy metals; mines; soil.

DOI: 10.7176/JEES/9-10-12

Publication date:October 31st 2019

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3216 ISSN (Online)2225-0948

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