Assessment of Heavy Metals, pH, Organic Matter and Organic Carbon in Roadside Soils in Makurdi Metropolis, Benue State, Nigeria


Roadside soil samples were collected from four sites (heavy traffic area (Wurukum); industrial site (Gboko road); residential area (Federal Lowcost) and FederalMedicalCenter(Wadata) representing different activities across the Benue Metropolis. At each of the sample site, roadside soils were collected at different distance from the edge of the main road (2, 10, 30, 40 and 60 meters). In each of the distance, roadside soil were collected at three depth of 0 -1 cm, 2 -4 cmand 4 - 6 cm for the determination of pH, organic matter, organic carbon, Cu, Cd, Fe, Pb, As, Mn, Zn, Cd and Ni. pH, electrical conductivity (EC), organic matter and organic carbon were determined using standard procedures, while heavy metals were determined using Perkin-Elmer Analyst 300 Atomic Absorption spectroscopy (AAS). Zinc was observed to show the higher levels in all the sampling sites, such higher level can be related back to the wear-and-tear of vehicle components as a result of the stop-start traffic patterns and brake pads. The concentrations of all the metals in the four sampling sites decreased exponentially with distance from the edge of the road and dropped to the minimum levels at about 60 meters. Similarly, mean concentrations of Cu, Fe, Pb, As, Mn, Zn, Cd and Ni were significantly higher around the industrial area (Gboko road) and heavy traffic (Wurunkum) areas than other sampling areas followed an increasing trend with the increase in depth. The vertical movement of all the metals, exhibited predominant association with soil pH and organic carbon. From the results of this study, the pH of the roadside soils from all the sampling points ranged from 4.56 to 7.71, which enhances increased of heavy metals down the soil profiles. Organic carbon content ranged of 0.27% to 5.44% across all the sampling points appears to increase the mobility of all the metals to a depth6 cm. The values of the heavy metals suggest that automobiles and traffic activities are a major source of these metals in the roadside soil within the study area. Also, with the exception of Pb, Fe and Cd, the levels of Cu, As, Mn, Zn and Ni in the present study were lower as compared with results found by other researcher in various countries worldwide.

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J. Akan, S. Audu, A. Mohammed and V. Ogugbuaja, "Assessment of Heavy Metals, pH, Organic Matter and Organic Carbon in Roadside Soils in Makurdi Metropolis, Benue State, Nigeria," Journal of Environmental Protection, Vol. 4 No. 6, 2013, pp. 618-628. doi: 10.4236/jep.2013.46071.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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