ASSESSMENT OF SOME HEAVY METAL IN CHILDREN’S PLAYGROUNDS IN OWERRI METROPOLIS, IMO STATE, NIGERIA

E. N. Verla, M. Horsfall Jnr, A. W. Verla, A.I. Spiff

Abstract


Children at playgrounds are exposed to contaminants and so attempts to improve children’s environment could reduce environmental burden of illnesses. In order to assess contamination by heavy metals, 36 soil samples were collected from nine public schools within Owerri metropolis.  Using AAnalyst 400 Perkin Elmer (AAS) concentrations of Mn (42.02± 31.16 mg/Kg); Co (6.26± 2.78 mg/Kg); Ni (35.05± 22.89 mg/Kg); Cu (35.42± 13.19 mg/Kg) and Zn (119.62 ± 31.16 mg/Kg) in 2012 and Mn (52.20 ± 29.08 mg/Kg); Co (10.94 ± 7.10 mg/Kg); Ni (32.16 ± 15.26 mg/Kg); Cu (43.85 ± 7.99 mg/Kg) and Zn (103.73 ± 26.82 mg/Kg) for 2013 were determined and data fitted into some models to assess contamination. Contamination factors (Cf) reveal that Central school Owerri, CSO (Cf : 68.45) and World bank primary school, WBP (Cf :61.53) were the most contaminated sites. Playgrounds had degrees of contamination (Cd) greater than 50, categorized as very high pollution whereas Heavy metal hazard indices (HMHI) were bellow 1, suggesting unlikely multi-element contamination. Due to bioaccumulation and non biodegradability of heavy metals, there is a need for some form of remediation of highly contaminated sites in other to alleviate future possible risk to our children.


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Chemical Society of Nigeria