keywords: Blacksmith, contamination, health hazards, heavy metals, pollution index, soil
This research workwas carried out to determine the heavy metals content in soil around the vicinity of blacksmith workshops in Zaria, Nigeria. Soil samples were collected from five different locations Chikaji, Danmagaji, Gwargwaje, Jushi waje, and Kasuwan mata where local blacksmith activities are being carried out. Soil sample was also collected about 10 km away from these locations to serve as the control. Dried and sieved soil samples were digested using aqua regia and Cd, Cr, Cu and Pb were determined using atomic absorption spectrophotometer.The physicochemical parameters such as moisture content, particle size/soil texture, organic matter, cation exchange capacity, pH, chloride, sulphate and phosphate contents in the soil were also determined. The results obtained indicated that the soil was sandy loam. The Cd(0.10±0.00 -2.35±0.05 mg/kg), Cr(0.49±0.07- 2.64±0.06mg/Kg, Cu(36.1±0.75 -105.56±8.97 mg/kg)and Pb(46.19 - 140.70 mg/kg) levels at the study sites were higher than the corresponding control values. The degree of pollution of various metals using the graded standard of Nemero pollution index varied. The concentrations of the metals were found to be above the recommended limits given by USEPA/WHO. This could pose risks and hazards to human and the ecosystem through direct ingestion of contaminated soil.
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