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Product Category: Projects

Product Code: 00007345

No of Pages: 86

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This research work was carried out to investigate the level of some heavy metals (Fe, Zn, Cu, Pb, Cd and Cr) ions in soil and some edible vegetables grown within the vicinity of abandoned Peacock Paint Industry in Ikot Ekan, Etinan Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. Comparison of heavy metals in crops and soils obtained showed that heavy metals in crops were higher than those recorded in soil and was attributed to bioaccumulation and bio-magnification of these heavy metals in crop tissues. Mean concentrations of Pb ions in pumpkin leaves (Telferia occidentalis) in sampling position QI, QII, QIII, QIV and the control were (7.28±0.08, 6.84±1.18, 4.65±0.75, 3.85±0.67 and 1.84±0.91) mg/kg respectively. Mean concentrations of Fe2+, Zn2+, Cu2+, Cd2+ and Cr3+ showed similar trends in all the edible vegetables analysed in the study area. The concentrations of heavy metals in soil samples obtained within the site were significantly higher than those obtained from the control sites. The levels of heavy metals in both soil and crop samples collected from the site were significantly high to cause environmental concern as their concentrations exceeded the tolerable limits, mean concentrations of Pb2+, Fe2+ Cu2+, Zn2+, Cd2+ and Cr3+ of heavy metals in the soil were Pb2+ (11.16±0.54 mg/kg), Fe2+(2120.40±2.11 mg/kg), Cu2+(89.74±7.52 mg/kg, Zn2+(23.74±1.55 mg/kg), Cd2+(2.66±0.52 mg/kg) and Cr3+(3.24±0.71 mg/kg). However, the observed values were higher than FEPA/ WHO standards.




Cover Page                                                                                                                  i

Title Page                                                                                                                    ii

Certification                                                                                                                iii

Declaration                                                                                                                  iv

Dedication                                                                                                                  v

Acknowledgements                                                                                                    vi

Table of Content                                                                                                         vii

List of Tables                                                                                                              ix

List of Figures                                                                                                             x

Abstract                                                                                                                      xi

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION                                                             

1.1       Background of the Study                                                                               1

1.2       Statement of Problem                                                                                     3

1. 3      Aim and Objectives of the Study                                                                   4

1.4       Justification of the Study                                                                               5

CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW                                                              7

CHAPTER 3: MATERIALS AND METHODS                         

3.1       Materials                                                                                                         24

3.1.1    Reagents                                                                                                         24

3.1.2    Equipment                                                                                                       24

3.2       Methods                                                                                                          25

3.2.1    Study area                                                                                                       25

3.2.2    Sample collection points                                                                                 27

3.2.3    Sample preparation                                                                                         28 Soil preparation                                                                                               28 Edible vegetables preparation                                                                         28

3.3       Determination of the Physiochemical Properties in the Soil                           29

3.3.1    Soil analysis (Bouyouncos, 1951)                                                                   29

3.3.2    Determination of soil pH in water (Ano, 1994)                                              29

3.3.3    Organic matter determination (Walkley and Black, 1994)                             30

3.3.4    Determination of Total Exchangeable Base                                                   30


4.1       Results of Physical and Chemical Properties of the Soil                                32

4.1.1    Results of soil analysis                                                                                    33

4.1.2    Results of pH analysis                                                                                    33

4.1.3    Results of organic carbon determination                                                        34

4.1.4    Results of the determination of exchangeable bases                                      34

4.2       Results of Heavy Metals Concentration in the Soil                                        36

4.3       Results Heavy Metals Analysis in Edible Vegetables Obtained from

the Study Area                                                                                                41


5.1       Conclusion                                                                                                      60

5.2       Recommendation                                                                                            60        References                                                                                                      61

Appendix                                                                                                        77HeahhHHhhhh









4.1       The Mean Values of Selected Physical and Chemical Properties

of the Soils                                                                                                      32

4.2       The Mean Concentration (mg/kg) of Heavy Metals in the soil with

Respect of Sampling Distance                                                                        37

4.3       The Mean Concentration (mg/kg) of Heavy Metals ions in Telferia

occidentalis with Respect to Sampling Distance                                            42

4.4       The Mean Concentration (mg/kg) of Heavy Metals ions in Abelmoschus esculentus with Respect to Sampling Distance in the Study Area             46

4.5       The Mean Concentration (mg/kg) of Heavy Metals ions in Talinum

Triangulare with Respect to Sampling Distance in the Study Area              51

4.6       The Mean Concentration (mg/kg) of Heavy Metals ions in Manihot

esculentus with Respect to Sampling Distance in the Study Area                 55




3.1:      Georeference of study area                                                                             26

3.2:      Showing sampling positions and axes in the study area                                 27








A problem of global concern is the levels of heavy metals in the soil system (Amisah et al., 2009). One of the most severe ecological challenges in developing countries is soil contamination by heavy metals through consistent disposal of untreated or poorly treated wastes from industries. Heavy metals constitute the major source of soil pollutants that have the capacity to contaminate the entire ecosystem through the food chain (Edem et al., 2008). Although heavy metals are present as natural components of soils, toxic levels are consequences of anthropogenic, industrial and activities such as mining (Das, 1999; Kuo et al., 2011). Soil contamination by heavy metals create a paint source environment through which plants can acquire heavy metals ions from the soil through folia adsorption process.  When humans or animals feed on these plants, the heavy metal ions can be transferred, bioaccumulate and biomagnify. At toxic concentrations, several health challenges have been confirmed, depending on the type of the heavy metal, physiological and biochemical conditions of the body and other factors (Abbas et al., 2010; Basta et al., 2010).

Paint contains various types of hazardous and non-hazardous wastes that are being discharged from the industries into the surrounding environment. As a result, the wastes with highly toxic inorganic or organic pollutants are dumped into surrounding land or water bodies which contaminate the soil or water. The continuous dumping of solid wastes particularly on land may constitute enormous danger to the ecosystem, particularly the soil; plants and animals that depend on them. Harmful inorganic and organic pollutants in the wastes material can alter the relative abundance of heavy metals and other   organic constituents in the soil. Consequently, the health state of plants and animals that depend directly or indirectly on the polluted soil may also be affected. When these plants are eaten by man, the heavy metal ions become bio-accumulated in tissue and other organs and eventually generate several ailments which may ultimately end up in death (Odiette, 1999; Adriano, 2003). Some of these heavy metals in plants may not be injurious to them, but could exert toxic impact on animals feeding on the plants (Raven and Evert, 2006). The present study is aimed at investigating levels of heavy metal ions in soil and arable crops grown within the vicinity of abandoned Peacock paint industry located at Ikot Ekan, Etinan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.

Peacock Paints Limited located at Ikot Ekan, in Etinan, was incorporated in 1979 and went into full operation in 1980 during the administration of Dr. Clement Isong, the then Governor of Cross River State. It was a berthing of a Peacock Paint. The company came with the promise to deliver quality paint and it did. The paint came with attractive colours, more like a peacock flaunting its feathers. The product came with durability and the virility of the peacock. Basking in the euphoria of its quality and durability, the company took the motto, “Quality with Pride”. The company, like the proud peacock bloomed with its bright colours attracting patronage from far and wide. In 2007, the fortunes of the company dimmed. The bright colours of the spread feathers furled up and the peacock in the paint took flight, far away from its disappointing consumers because it was abandoned.



The increase in number of abandoned industries and poor waste management in Nigeria is a source of concern, as the consequences of inadequate collection, disposal and poor management of wastes make negative impact on the environment.

This may also contributes to the degradation of the urban environment and may obstruct public health. The most prone population are those living close to the abandoned industries or waste disposal sites because the abandon waste has the potential to contaminate water, soil, air and crops that are grown within the abandoned industrial sites (Ekpo et al., 2014). According to (Afullo and Odhiambo, 2009) most Nigerian based companies are relocating to Ghana due to the deteriorating economic, environmental and health conditions in Nigeria. The influx of significant population into the city without adequate or sustainable waste management may enhance a wide variety of environmental problems (Environmental Management and Co-ordination Act, 1999). The mayor problem is the current inability of urban authorities to adequately manage large quantities of the generated solid waste (United Nations Development Programme, 2006). Uncontrolled and unmonitored disposal of wastes in open dumps may result in the contamination and subsequent pollution of the environment by heavy metals. Thus, observed widespread and multiple impacts of heavy metals from solid waste become a global concern (Uwah et al., 2011). Despite huge volumes of concentrated waste residues, abandoned industries, the commonest sources of heavy metals known are metal junks and batteries (Zhang et al., 2002; Pasquini and Alexander, 2004). Studies have shown that some wastes are rich in nutrient and that their nutrient content makes them attractive as fertilizers, but when untreated wastes are used in crop production, consumers may be exposed to public challenges such outbreak of diseases (such as cholera and hepatitis) or heavy metal contamination of the soil and plants cultivated on such soil (Drechsel et al., 1999). Furthermore, heavy metals are non-biodegradable and significant concentrations in soil can affect plant and animal life through folia absorption and food chain (Karatas et al., 2006; Adjia et al., 2008). According to Yargholi and Azimi (2008), heavy metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium and copper are notably toxic and accumulate in biological system to cause toxic impacts. These and some other heavy metals are major sources of oxidative stress in the cell and play an important role in the etiology of diverse human pathologies such as carcinogenesis (Frenkel, 1992; Wang et al., 2004; Leonard et al., 2004; Hei and Filipic, 2004). Exposure to heavy metals toxicity such as lead, iron, and chromium can lead to brain damage, mental retardation, cerebral palsy, lung cancer, gastrointestinal abnormalities, dermatitis, and death of the unborn foetus (USEPA, 2002; Rotich et al., 2006; UNDP, 2006). Some heavy metals have been indicted as constituents of essential pathway in damaging DNA through the formation of adducts which have the potential to induce chromosomal breaks (Chakrabarti et al., 2001).


The aim of this study is to determine the level of heavy metals in the soil and vegetable samples within the abandoned Peacock paint industry in Ikot Ekang, Etinan Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. The specific objectives include:

(i)                 To determine the physical and chemical properties of the soil within the paint industrial environment.

(ii)               To carry out similar analyses as in (i) above on soil and vegetables positioned 100 m away from the industry.

(iii) To assess the influence of paint wastes on the chemical characteristics of some vegetables grown within and the surrounding Peacock paint industry.

(iii)             To suggest some remedies to the pollution problem of the environment (if any).


The report by World Health Organization (WHO) shows that prolonged exposure to environmental pollution actuates for about a quarter of the diseases facing mankind today (Prüss-Üstün and Corvalán, 2006; Kimani, 2007). The general belief that wastes are sometimes hazardous to health cannot be over emphasized. Abandoned industries are common sites in Nigeria. The sites are not only a site for sore eyes but a health hazard. The soils around the abandoned industries are usually rich in toxic heavy metals, and are used for planting vegetables and fruits.

These plants have the tendency to bio-accumulate heavy metal ions from the soil and when eaten by human beings and animals, they can initiates severe health challenges (USEPA, 2002; UNDP, 2006; Rotich et al., 2006). The water sources around the abandoned sites can also be contaminated with heavy metal ions as through dissolution and leaching from point source to non-point source. The contaminated plants may be consumed by man or other animals, while the contaminated water may become a severe source of irrigation, human consumption and other domestic applications (Etekpo, 1999; Eddy et al., 2006).  The consequences are numerous but are all connected to toxic effect of heavy metals ions. Availability of data on levels of heavy metals ion contamination in the Peacock Paint industry is not being reported extensively. Therefore, the present study seeks to analyze the soil and plant samples from that environment in order to present baseline information that can offer suggestions on the need for remediation or adoption of preventive measures.


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