Evaluation of Trace Metals in Particulate Matter from the Ambient Air of Calabar Metropolis, Cross River State, Nigeria

Authors : Ewona, I. O; Ibor, I. E; Egor, A O

Volume/Issue : Volume 6 - 2021, Issue 12 - December

Google Scholar : http://bitly.ws/gu88

Scribd : https://bit.ly/3H7Z71e

This study measured and compared the levels of trace metals (Pb, Cr, Cu, Ni, Mn, Fe, Cd and Zn) in air borne suspended particulate matter (SPM) collected between August-September (wet season),2020 and January-February (dry season), 2021 at ten locations (CRUTECH, Ekpo-Abasi, Mayne Avenue by Atamunu, Etagbor by Jimco, Watt Market, Calabar Post Office, Marian Market, Diamomd Hill/MCC, Port Complex/NPA, Federal Housing by NTA) in Calabar metropolis, Cross River State, Nigeria. The samples were collected by gravity settlement method, using high density polyethylene (HDPE) containers with 10cm diameter funnel. About 50cm3 of 0.1mg/L solution of CuSO4 algaecide was added to prevent algae growth. The set up was mounted on a flat elevation, at least 6 meters high and supported at the base and exposed for a period of 30days with constant checking. Samples were collected and taken to the laboratory for storage and analysis. The study was done in two phases, wet and dry seasons. A descriptive analysis of UV visible spectrophotometer was used. Based on the analysis, the SPM concentrations varied from 13.020 µg/m3 minimum to 22.025µg/m3 maximum according to location. The total mean dust cover was 17.422 µg/m3 . Spectroscopy results shows that the air basin at all location sites contain concentrations of trace metals<15µg/m3 . Higher concentration of Cu (2.087± 0.455 µg/m3 ) was recorded at Port Complex/NPA location and of Fe (1.925 ± 0.264 µg/m3 ) while Zn is (1.919 ± 0.541) respectively. Paired independent t-test at p≤ 0.05 (df=19, n =20) confirmed significant seasonal variations in the concentration of the metals with higher concentrations during the dry season. Enrichment factor (EF) analysis was adopted to identify the source and the contributions to particulate matter. The result revealed that the background atmosphere in the studied stations was highly affected by anthropogenic pollution in the order of minimum to maximum concentrations by location and demonstrated that high heavy metals concentrations occurred but with significant EF values during the dry season. These results are useful for effective environmental pollution monitoring in Calabar metropolis air basin. It is therefore recommended that burying of refuse should be encouraged instead of burning, only road-worthy vehicles should be allowed to ply the roads, bushburning should be completely discouraged and environmental impact assessment must be carried out before establishment of any industry.

Keywords : Particulate Matter, Ambient Air, Trace and Heavy Metals, Suspended Particulate Matter


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