Estimation Of The Level Of Some Heavy Metals In Soil Collected From An Agricultural Farm

Project and Seminar Material for Science Laboratory Technology SLT

Estimation Of The Level Of Some Heavy Metals In Soil Collected From An Agricultural Farm


Abstract


Estimation of the level of some heavy metals (cadmium, Arsenic and Mercury) in soil sample collected from an agricultural farm from Ukanafun Local Government Area was carried out using standard analytical procedures. The result of the analysis revealed the concentration of Arsenic to be the highest (2.05 mg/kg) followed by mercury (1.52 mg/kg) and cadmium was the least (0.006 mg/kg) respectively. These values were found to be lower than the permissible limit in agricultural soil, an indication that the soil is not polluted with respect to the metals. Hence crops can be cultivated on such soil.


Table of Contents


  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgements
  • Abstract
  • Table of Contents

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Aim and Objectives of the Study
  • 1.2 Scope and Limitation of the Study
  • 1.3 Definition of Terms

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.0 Heavy Metals
  • 2.0.1 Sources of Heavy Metals in the Soil
  • 2.1 Toxicity Level of Some Heavy Metals
  • 2.2.1 Cadmium
  • 2.2.2 Arsenic
  • 2.2.3 Mercury
  • 2.2.4 Chromium
  • 2.2.5 Lead
  • 2.3 Review of Related Work

Chapter Three

3.0 Materials and Method

  • 3.1 Materials and Reagent
  • 3.2 Sample Collection and Preparation
  • 3.3 Determination of Heavy Metal in the Soil
  • 3.3.1 Digestion of the Sample
  • 3.3.2 Determination of Cadmium, Arsenic and Mercury

Chapter Four

4.0 Results and Discussion

  • 4.1 Results
  • 4.2 Discussion

Chapter Five

5.0 Conclusion and Recommendations

  • 5.1 Conclusion
  • 5.2 Recommendations
  • References

Chapter One


1.0 Introduction

Heavy metal refers to any metallic chemical element that has a relatively high density and is toxic or poisonous at low concentration. Example of the heavy metals include; Mercury (Hg), Cadmium (Cd), Arsenic (As), chromium (Cr) etc. Heavy metal contamination of the environment can be caused by parent material in the soil or anthropogenic activities, including fertilization application of pesticides and traffic etc. The level of environmental pollution is a worldwide concern to both the governmental and regulatory bodies that are anxious to prevent further environmental deterioration.

Beside the natural activities, almost all human activities potentially contribute to produce heavy metals as side effects. Furthermore, Migration of these contaminants into non-contaminated areas as dust or leaching through the soil and spreading of heavy metals containing sewage sludge are a few example of events contributing toward contamination of the ecosystem.

Soil may become contaminated by the accumulation of heavy metals and metalloids through emissions from the rapidly expanding industrials areas, mine tailings, disposal of high metal waste, leaded gasoline and paints, land application of fertilizers, animal manures, sewage sludge, pesticide, wastes water irrigation, coal combustion residue, spillage of petrolchemical and atmospheric deposition.

Heavy metals constitute an ill defined group of organic chemical hazards, and those most commonly founded at contaminated sites are chromium, lead, arsenic, zinc, cadmium and mercury etc (Kabata – Pendia and Pendias, 2001).

Soil are the major sink for heavy metal released into the environment by aforementioned anthropogenic activities and unlike organic contaminants which are oxidized to carbon (iv) oxide by microbial action, most metal do not undergo microbial chemical degradation and their total concentration in soils persists for a long time after their introduction.

Hence, heavy metal contaminant may pose risks and hazard to humans and ecosystem through direct digestion contact with contaminated soil and this will be transferred to human through food chain or animal that will feed on it. Therefore, it is necessary to know the total metals content in soils in order to be able to assess their quality and the potential risk of pollution.


1.1 Aim and Objectives of the Study

The aim of this study is to estimate the level of some heavy metals in soil from agricultural farm with the following objectives:

  1. To estimate the level of heavy metals in soil collected from the farm in Ukanafun.
  2. To compare the values obtained with standard permissible limit for such heavy metals in agricultural soil.
  3. To evaluate the possible pollution level of the soil with respect to these heavy metals.

1.2 Scope and Limitation of the Study

The research work was limited to the estimation of the level of some heavy metals present in soil from an agricultural farm in Ukanafun due to time and financial constraint.


1.3 Definition of Terms

Heavy Metals:

Are metallic chemical element that has a relatively high density and is toxic or poisonous at low concentration.

Soil:

This is the upper surface which is essential for the growth of plants.

Anthropogenic:

This is an activities performed by human.

Fertilizer:

This is an inorganic substance that is added to improved the soil fertility.

Pesticide:

This is a chemical or biological substance design to kill or retard the growth of pest that damage or interfere with the growth of crops like shrubs, tree, timber and other vegetation desire by humans.


Chapte Five


5.0 Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Conclusion

The study was to estimate the level of some heavy metals (cadmium, Arsenic and mercury) in soil collected from an agricultural farm from Ukanafun. The result revealed that the soil was not heavily polluted by these metal but with time, continuous cropping, application of fertilizer, application of pesticide and waste sludge could lead to increase in the concentration of these metal in soil and anything that will be cultivate in this soil will be contaminated. Therefore, if such crops are consumed the metal will pass through food chain and become toxic to human or harmful to humans resulting in kidney problem, lung cancer, immune system and bone demineralization.


5.2 Recommendation

In view of the result of the analysis, the following recommendations are made:

  1. Heavy metal contents in soils should be assessed regularly to determine the soil quality and the potential risk of pollution.
  2. Indiscrimination discharge of sewage sludge should be discouraged.

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