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Asian Journal of Applied Sciences
Year: 2012  |  Volume: 5  |  Issue: 6  |  Page No.: 342 - 356

Assessment of Physico-chemical Properties and Heavy Metals Bioavailability in Dumpsites along Enugu-port Harcourt Expressways, South-east, Nigeria

N.A. Obasi, E.I. Akubugwo, O.C. Ugbogu and Glory Otuchristian    

Abstract: Physico-chemical parameters (pH, EC, %moisture, CEC, TOC, TOM, total nitrogen, %PO43¯, SO42¯) and the chemical fractionation, mobility and bioavailability of heavy metals (Cd, Cu, Mn, Pb, Zn, Fe, Ni and Cr) in refuse waste soils of some dumpsites along Enugu-port Harcourt Expressways, South-East, Nigeria were investigated and compared with control soils from the same terrain using standard analytical methods. Results showed significant (p>0.05) higher changes in the soil physico-chemical properties relative to the controls, thus implicating the waste soils to be more fertile. Also, mean of total extractable metals in the samples analyzed for Cd, Cu, Mn, Pb, Zn, Fe, Ni and Cr ranged from 23.41-107.18, 10.58-238.50, 141.21-442.03, 35.11-635.31, 186.38-505.57, 76.46-371.73, 13.00-221.97 and 13.55-26.77 mg kg-1 dry weight, respectively. Cd followed by Fe and then Pb were mostly found to be in the mobile phase of the samples indicating that the metals were potentially more bio-available to the environment than the other metals studied. Overall, the order of mobility and bioavailability of the metals is Cd>Fe>Pb>Mn>Zn>Cr>Ni>Cu. The implications of these results towards the understanding of the underlying causes of plants species diversity changes and growth, bioaccumulation and bio-toxicity of some edible plants on dumpsites were discussed.

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