Risk Assessment of Environmental Pollution of Lead and Zinc in Ishiagu and Uburu Communities of Ebonyi State

Author(s): Oje OA, Ubani CS, Ekwueme FN and Onwurah INE

This investigation was aimed at assessing the risk involved in eaten vegetable obtained from mining or quarrying locations. Ten (10) – Edible vegetable samples were collected from different farms and also soil and water samples from Ishiagu and Uburu communities were assessed for lead and zinc concentrations. The bioaccumulation factor (BAF), transfer factor (TF) and the health risk index were calculated as index of environmental risk. The results showed higher levels of lead and zinc in the vegetables sampled when compared with the permissible limits of the lead and zinc. Most vegetables investigated showed high BAF and TF values which varied from one vegetable to the other. This variation might be due to the differences in metal concentration in water and soil, rate of transpiration in plant, nature or chemical form of the metal and age of plants. The health risk index for both metal in both communities were found to be less than 1 which shows that the environment could be considered safe. Although the study revealed no health risk associated with the consumption of vegetables from these environment, caution should be applied in the consumption of the vegetables due to long time bioaccumulation of the metals.

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