Variations of Heavy Metals in Agricultural Soils Irrigated with Tin Water in Heipang District of Barkin Ladi, Plateau State, Nigeria

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Author(s) Daniel, V. N. | Chudusu, E.S. | Chup, J.A | Pius, N.D
Pages 255-263
Volume 3
Issue 5
Date May, 2014
Keywords Heavy metals, Agriculture soils, Tin mine water, irrigation

Untreated tin mine water from tin mined ponds is mostly used for the irrigation of crops in Heipang District of Barkin Ladi, Plateau State, Nigeria, due to its easy availability, difficulties in reclaiming the shafts and scarcity of freshwater. Irrigation with mine water is known to contribute significantly to the heavy metals content of soil. This work assessed the pH values and the concentrations of eight heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Zn, and Pb) in surface soil, soil from the depth of 10cm, sediment and maize plant from June to August, 2010 in an irrigated area of Heipang using the inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrophotometer (ICPOES). The pH of the soil and sediment in this work ranged from 5. 33 -7.00. Most of the pH values were acidic and below WHO permissive values. The analyses of samples for heavy metals revealed very high concentrations of Pb, Zn, Mn, Fe, Cr, and Cu and Ni except Cd which was not detected in most of the samples. The variations of the concentrations of metals in the samples did not follow any regular pattern for the three months studied. The accumulation of the metals in soils and sediment samples followed the sequence Fe>Zn>Mn>Cr>Pb>Cu>Ni>Cd. Cd was only detected in the plant (maize) sample with normal concentration range of 0.054 - 0.308 but showed concentrations higher than the toxic levels for Mn, Zn, Cu, whereas, Ni, Pb, and Cr concentrations in June exceeded the toxic levels and the concentrations for the other months were very close to the upper limits of their respective toxic concentrations. The acidic mine waters from the closed tin mines could be extremely dangerous pollutants of arsenic and heavy metals poisoning either by direct exposure during tin mining or through soil, water contamination and the food chain causing cancer and other heavy metals related illnesses. Control measures of pollution routes and remediation measures at the site are urgently required.

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