Ecological risk assessment of heavy metals in soil developed on coastal marine sediment along coastal area in Anantigha, Calabar, Nigeria
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Coastal areas in Anantigha are utilized as dumpsite for industrial and domestic wastes including effluent from local industries and inhabitants of the area despite their usage for crop cultivation. Thus, the present study was designed to assess the concentration, pollution load and ecological risk of heavy metal in Anantigha coastal area. Standard pollution indices such as contamination factor (Cf), degree of contamination, pollution load index (PLI), enrichment factor (EF), geo-accumulation index (Igeo) and ecological risk index were deployed to assess the level of heavy metals contamination in the area. The results showed that the sediment was acidic under dried conditions and low in conductivity. The mean concentration levels of all the heavy metals were lower than their mean background values except for Al. The orders of dominance for concentration of heavy metals were: Al>Fe>Mn>Cu>Zn (Station 1) and Al>Fe>Mn>Zn>Cu (Stations 2, 3 and 4). Analyzed data showed that the sediments in the area are contaminated with Al with Igeo result showing station 2 and 4 been moderately to heavily contaminated with Al while station 4 was heavily contaminated with aluminium. Station 1 had low degree of contamination, whereas station 2 and 4 had moderate degree of contamination, and station 3 showed considerable degree of contamination. The PLI result indicates unpolluted condition and the area were not enriched by the studied heavy metals as shown by EF values. Hence, the sediment in Anantigha coastal marine area was classified as having low ecological risk factor. However, the levels of these metals are not static; there is tendency for increase as a result of increased human input and activities. Hence, there is a need for regular soil testing.
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