Abstract— Samples from petroleum contaminated soil of Eleme, Port Harcourt and from non petroleum contaminated soil, Awka, Nigeria serving as control were analyzed for heavy metals. The results of the analysis showed that the metals concentrations in mg/kg were Ni <0.05- 2.05, Cr 0.005- 0.37, Cd <0.005- 0.008, Zn 0.14 – 2.87 Pb <0.02- 0.19 Fe 12.32-29.11, Mn < 0.008- 0.036, Se <0.001, as <0.001, and V <0.001. Majority of the metal concentrations were above those of the control. Though the values obtained did not exceed soil quality standards stipulated in the Environmental Management Regulations, 2007, the toxic metals could accumulate to a threatening level over a period of time. Food poisoning, occupational hazards and various disorders emanate from heavy load of toxic metals in our environment.
Environmental pollution may result from industrial and commercial activities when substances resulting from these activities enter the environment and attain levels which may cause discomfort and / or harm to man and his environment (Udosen et al, 1990). From the point of view of environmental pollution, metals may be broadly classified into three categories namely, non-toxic but accessible, toxic but non-accessible and toxic and accessible .It is the third category that has attracted more attention from the point of view of environmental pollution and public health (Dara, 2008).
Moriber (1974) reported that the consumption of waste water from a mine which produced cadmium, zinc and lead resulted in rickets-like disease called itai-itia.
Keywords— Heavy Metals as Contaminants, Petroleum Contaminated Soils, Port Harcourt, soil quality, toxic metals.
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