Nwineewii Jack D, Hart Victor J
Recently, the occurrence of soot in the city of Port Harcourt has been very alarming attracting the attention of the inhabitants as to its dangerous effect. Therefore, this study was carefully designed to investigate the concentrations of some heavy metals and total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) in soot from Port Harcourt city local government area. The Mini Vol air sampler was used to collect the soot samples. Two samples each were collected from four different communities (Borokiri, Amadiama, Abuloma and Old GRA) making a total of eight locations from the study area. The collected soot samples were digested and atomic absorption spectrophotometer was used to analyse the concentrations of the heavy metals (Pb, Ni, Cr, Cu, Cd and Zn) in the soot. The concentrations of the heavy metals obtained were found to be within the following range Pb (0.984-1396µg/m3), Ni (0.513 -0.717 µg/m3), Cr (3.384-5.280 µg/m3), Cu (0.0740.216 µg/m3),) Cd (0.001-0.0036 µg/m3)) and Zn (0.057 -0.077 µg/m3). The concentrations of Pb, Ni, Cr, and Cu were above the permissible limit set by WHO while that of Zn and Cd were within the WHO limit. Gas chromatography detection was used to analyse for total petroleum hydrocarbons and the concentration across the eight sample locations ranged from 8.712-17.2746mg/kg with a mean concentration of 13.376 ±2.695 mg/kg. The TPH concentrations across all the sampling locations were above the WHO limit. It is our utmost view from the results of the study to state that the Port Harcourt city local government area is polluted with some heavy metals and total petroleum hydrocarbons and we recommend that the companies operating around the study area should treat their waste before discharging them. Also, the government of rivers state should see it as a matter of necessity that the activities of illegal artisanal refineries are curtails to ensure a safe environment for the indigene.
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