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Elevation of Heavy Metals in the Environment of Aragba and Uvwiamughe in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria after an Oil Spillage

Author Affiliations

  • 1 Department of Physics, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, NIGERIA

Int. Res. J. Environment Sci., Volume 2, Issue (3), Pages 1-5, March,22 (2013)


Atomic absorption spectrometry method was used to measure the elemental concentrations of lead, mercury and arsenic from the uncontaminated and contaminated soils after the oil spill in Aragba and Uvwiamughe communities. Both the contaminated and uncontaminated soil samples from Aragba community exhibited higher mean concentration values than the corresponding concentrations recorded for Uvwiamughe community. For the contaminated soil samples, the mean elemental concentrations of 0.08mg/kg, 0.04mg/kg and 1.04mg/kg were recorded for mercury, arsenic and lead respectively in aragba community while 0.06mg/kg, 0.02mg/kg and 0.25mg/kg were recorded for mercury, arsenic and lead respectively in Uvwiamughe community. The results also showed that the levels of the heavy metals in the contaminated soil samples are higher than the levels in the uncontaminated soil samples. This signifies elevated values of elemental concentration of the heavy metals in the soil samples from the oil spill field. The results obtained are comparable to the values of 18.77mg/kg for Lead in the sediments of Okrika river; nil for arsenic in the preliminary assessment of heavy metal levels in soils of an oil field in Niger Delta, Nigeria and nil for Mercury in the characteristic levels of heavy metals in soil profile of automobile mechanic waste dump in Nigeria. The levels of concentration for water in the present study are also comparable to the International values recommended by WHO for portable and drinkable water which are 0.01mg/L, 0.01mg/L and 0.001mg/L for lead, arsenic and mercury respectively. The WHO values are much smaller than the corresponding mean values of 0.12mg/L, and 0.005mg/L for Lead and Mercury respectively in the present study while the values for Arsenic are the same.


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