Trace Metals Content of Soil around a Municipal Solid Waste Dumpsite in Gombe, Nigeria: Assessing the Ecological and Human Health Impact

Document Type: Original Article


1 Department of Pure and Industrial Chemistry, Faculty of Physical Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria

2 Department of Chemistry, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Nigeria


The assessment of some trace metals in soils around a municipal solid waste dumpsite in Gombe, Nigeria was conducted. Pollution indices and health risk parameters were determined in order to evaluate the ecological and health risk to the local environment.  The soil samples were collected in dry and rainy seasons and analysed for (Fe, Cd, Pb, Mn, Zn, Cu, Cr, and Ni) using atomic absorption spectrometry. The content of trace metals (mg kg-1) at the dumpsite in dry season were: Pb (8.78), Zn (151.00), Ni (11.80), Cr (4.55), Cd (12.12) and Mn (92.05), while in rainy season, content of trace metals were Pb (8.80), Zn (148.00), Ni (11.63), Cr (4.20), Cd (10.03) and Mn (91.03). In both seasons, there was a significant increase (p<0.05) in levels of chromium, cadmium, zinc, nickel, lead, copper and iron in soil samples from the south (20 m) of the dumpsite and at the dumpsite compared to soil samples from the control site. Pollution indices studies showed that soil samples from south (20 m) of the dumpsite and at the dumpsite were highly polluted with cadmium, contributing 99% of the overall potential ecological risk. No potential health risk was detected, considering the fact that the hazard quotient and total hazard index of all the studied metals were less than one. However, children were found to be more vulnerable to heavy metal pollution than adults.


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