Journal of Science and Geosciences

A similar appraisal of soil contamination by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in Delta communities, Nigeria

Abstract


Jameson O. E., Ajaino K. L, Ade A. G and Nwonye, S. N

This study determined, in comparison with guideline limits, the levels of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) in the soils at Eleme (highly industrialized) and Ahoada East (less industrialized) communities in the Niger Delta Area. Sixteen grab soil samples with 8 samples each from different locations in each community were collected at depth 0 - 15 cm using an auger. About 500 g of soil from each location were processed and analyzed for pH, moisture content, organic matter, phenol, and PAHs using standard methods. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics viz mean ± standard deviation as well as inferential statistics such as Man Whitney U test and simple regression at 5% level of significance. At Eleme, the highest concentration of phenol (1.04 ? 0.85%) was observed in samples at Ekporo. The highest levels of Benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) (1.54 x 10 5 ng/kg) were recorded at Onne. Soil samples close to the Petroleum Refinery at Alesa recorded the highest total PAH concentration (2.30 x 10 6 ng/kg) even though this was slightly lower than the EPA guideline value of 2.5 x 10 6 ng/kg. At Ahoada East, the highest phenol level (1.48 ? 0.99 mg/kg) was observed at Ula Ehuda. The highest BaP concentrations were observed at Ahoada town (1.57 x 10 5 ng/kg) . Also the highest total PAH levels (3.67 x 10 5 ng/kg) were recorded at Odiabidi and this was lower than the levels at Eleme and EPA guideline limits (P < 0.05). The mean level of total PAHs at Eleme which recorded the highest number (9) of individual components was 7 fold higher than that recorded at Ahoada East with only 3 components. Also at Eleme four locations compared to none at Ahoada East were classified as high risk sites. The study showed that the communities at Eleme when compared to Ahoada East may be more vulnerable to hazards associated with increased exposure to Soil PAH.

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