An Assessment of Heavy-Metal Contamination in Soils within Auto-Mechanic Workshops Using Enrichment and Contamination Factors with Geoaccumulation Indexes


Soil characterization and heavy metals in different layers (0 - 15 cm; 15 - 30 cm and 30 - 45 cm depth) of automobile mechanic waste dumps were studied. The soils showed remarkably high levels of all the metals above background concentrations with most (Ni, Cu, Fe, Cr and Cd) decreasing with soil depth. The distribution pattern were in the following order Fe > Cu > Zn > Pb > Cr > Ni > Cd. Across all the sampling locations and profiles, Fe and Cd showed the highest (476.4 μg·g-1) and least (37.5 μg·g-1) mean concentrations respectively. Pollution load index (PLI) and index of geoaccumulation (Igeo) revealed overall high and moderate contamination respectively but the enrichment factors (EFs) for Pb Ni and Cd are severe. The inter-element relationship revealed the identical source of elements in the soils of the studied area. The accuracy of the results has been cheeked using the standard reference material; SRM (PACS-2). The mechanic waste dumps represent potential sources of heavy metal pollution to environment. The elevated levels of heavy metals in these soil profiles constitute a serious threat to both surface and groundwater.

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Ololade, I. (2014) An Assessment of Heavy-Metal Contamination in Soils within Auto-Mechanic Workshops Using Enrichment and Contamination Factors with Geoaccumulation Indexes. Journal of Environmental Protection, 5, 970-982. doi: 10.4236/jep.2014.511098.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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