Determination of the Presence and Level of Heavy Metals in Soils of Automobile Workshops in Awka, Anambra State (Published)
This study determined the presence and levels of heavy metals in automobile workshop soils in Awka Anambra state. Soil samples were collected from four automobile workshops. The soil samples were analysed for heavy metal contents; Lead (Pb), Manganese (Mn), Zinc (Zn), Nickel (Ni), Copper (Cu), Chromium (Cr), Mercury (Hg), and Iron (Fe). The soil samples were digested and the filtrate subjected to quantitative analysis using Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS). One-way Anova, and one sample t-test, were used to test the hypotheses postulated. The results indicated the presence of all the metals under consideration in the soil samples. The concentrations of the metals in the soils of the automobile workshops were compared with NESREA (National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency) standard and the result showed that Cu in sample A was greater than the standard while others were below it; Cr in sample D was lower than the standard while others were above it; metal contents of Zn, Pb, Cd, and Ni in all samples were below the standard while Fe and Mn limits were not specified by NESREA. The study concluded that the activities of automobile workshops contaminate soil with heavy metals which automatically have direct and indirect effect man as it can be transported through the food chain. It is hence recommended that: regulatory bodies be set up to monitor the activities of automobile workshops and policies be enacted whereby automobile workshops should be located very far from residential areas. Further research should be carried out to ascertain the effects of those heavy metals on plants, groundwater, and human health.