DISTRIBUTION OF HEAVY METALS IN MELON SEEDS AND SOILS ALONG IKOT EKPENE ROAD,UMUAHIA, NIGERIA

N.M. Mgbemena, F.N. Amako, F.C. Awa

Abstract


The study determined the levels of iron, cadmium, lead, nickel and zinc and chromium in melon seeds and soils close and far from the road. Samples of both melon seeds and soil were collected along Ikot Ekpene Road, Ikwuano L.G.A. Abia State, Nigeria and analyzed for their heavy metal contents using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer. Results of the level of concentration of heavy metals in melon seeds collected close to the road were in the order; Zn (6.17 mg/kg), Pb (5.35 mg/kg), Fe (3.20 mg/kg), Ni (0.056 mg/kg), Cd (0.044 mg/kg) and Cr (0.076 mg/kg) while those collected far from the road were in the order; Fe (1.241 mg/kg), Pb (0.561 mg/kg), Zn (0.22 mg/kg). The result of concentration for soil samples collected close to the roadside were in the order; Zn (7.69 mg/kg), Pb (8.36 mg/kg), Fe (3.28 mg/kg), and soil sample collected far away from the road side were in the order; Zn (1.75 mg/kg), Fe (1.54 mg/kg), and Pb (0.76 mg/kg). This suggested that melon and soil close to the roadside were contaminated mostly with zinc, lead and iron. Plant concentration factor was in the range of 0.80 – 0.835 for Fe, 0.64 – 0.72 for Pb, 0.22 – 0.27 for Ni, 0.71 for Cr, 0.45 for Cd and 0.126 – 0.80 for Zn. Plant absorption of heavy metals from soil was in the order Zn>Pb>Fe>Cd>Cr>Ni. Statistical significant differences were observed between levels of heavy metals in both sites. Strong positive correlations were observed between pairs of metal in melon seed and pairs of metal in soil. Elemental correlations were however observed to be strong between the two media (melon seed and soil). The degree of contamination for the soils collected close to the road was found to be 5.611 while that of the soils collected far away from the road was 4.533.There was low degree of contamination for both soils. The Pollution Load Index (PLI) for the soils close to the road was 1.333 while that for soils far from the road was 1.286. Levels of heavy metals were higher in soils and melon seeds close to the road. Adequate measures should be taken to discourage roadside farming.

Keywords: Melon, Soil, concentration, Heavy metals


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Chemical Society of Nigeria