Distribution of heavy metals in soils from abandoned dump sites in Kumasi, Ghana

This study investigated the heavy metal content and the extent of pollution in soils from abandoned dump sites in Kumasi, Ghana. Concentrations of heavy metals in the 70 soil samples were determined using a Niton XL3t GOLD field portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometer and confirmed on an Agilent 7800 inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometer. Mercury was determined with a Lumex mercury analyzer. Mean concentrations of metals in soils were in the order: Zn (166 mg/kg). Cr (67 mg/kg) > Cu (32 mg/kg), Ni (22 mg/kg) > Pb (11 mg/kg) Cd (8.9 mg/kg) > As (4.2 mg/kg) > Hg (0.04 mg/kg) for Kronum; and Zn (558 mg/kg), Cu (347 mg/kg), Pb (288 mg/kg) > Cr (77 mg/kg) > Ni (35 mg/kg) > As (11 mg/kg) > Cd (3.0 mg/kg) > Hg (0.19 mg/kg) for Amakom. Pollution indices (geo-accumulation, contamination factor, pollution load and potential ecological risk) indicated very high contamination for arsenic, cadmium and lead at Kronum and arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead and zinc at Amakom. Mercury recorded the least level of pollution for both dump sites. Regular monitoring of these abandoned dump sites is required. Remediation programs in these sites should also be instituted.
This an article published by the Scientific African.
Scientific African 10 (2020) e00614