Contamination of the environment by heavy metals is a phenomenon of global importance today. When present in high concentrations in the environment, heavy metals may enter the food chain from soils and result in health hazards. Accumulation in street dust is one major way through which heavy metals may find their way into soils and subsequently living tissues of plants, animals and human beings. In this paper, the magnitude and sources of some heavy metals (Cu, Mn, Fe, Cd, Pb and Zn) in street dust samples in and around Gwagwalada, Nigeria, were assessed.
Street dust samples were collected from 12 sites with and without varying levels of human activities (blacksmithing, motor repair works, metal working and fabrication, vehicular traffic and residential development) in the area and analysed by atomic absorption spectrophotometry to determine the magnitude and sources of accumulation of the above heavy metals in street dust in the study area.
The mean concentrations were found to be 210, 79, 97, 3.9, 120 and 96 μg g−1 respectively, for Pb, Zn, Cu, Cd, Fe and Mn across the various sampling sites. Samples collected from sites with human activities were found to contain concentrations of the metals that are generally higher than those in background areas (without human activities). However, metal working and fabrication, and motor repair works were found to have a stronger influence on the accumulation of the metals in the dust samples than vehicular traffic.
The results indicate that, contrary to what is expected, based on the observations made in several areas by many researchers elsewhere, metal working and fabrication, and motor repair works have a stronger influence on the accumulation of the metals in the dust samples than vehicular traffic in the study area.
Provides information on heavy metal contamination of the environment in an area of Nigeria.
Mashi, S.A., Yaro, S.A. and Eyong, P.N. (2005), "A survey of trends related to the contamination of street dust by heavy metals in Gwagwalada, Nigeria", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 16 No. 1, pp. 71-76. https://doi.org/10.1108/14777830510574353Download as .RIS
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