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Funaria hygrometrica moss as Bioindicator of Atmospheric Pollution of Heavy Metals in Makurdi and Environs, North Central Nigeria

Author Affiliations

  • 1Analytical Chemistry and Environmental Toxicology Research Group, Department of Chemistry,Benue State University, Makurdi, NIGERIA
  • 2 Department of Chemistry, College of Advanced and Professional Studies, Makurdi, NIGERIA
  • 3 Department of Chemical Sciences, Cross River University of Technology, Calabar, NIGERIA
  • 4 Department of Chemistry, College of Education, Oju, Benue State, NIGERIA

Res.J.chem.sci., Volume 4, Issue (10), Pages 10-17, October,18 (2014)


Samples of Funaria hygrometica moss were collected at eleven (one of which was a control) different locations in Makurdi town and analyzed for their heavy metals contents. The concentrations of eight heavy metals; lead (Pb), copper (Cu),cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni), manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), and iron (Fe) were determined using a flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer (FAAS). The mean levels and standard deviation of heavy metals in the moss samples were found to be: Pb (0.5750.74 g/g); Cu (2.0343.59 g/g); Cr (0.2960.22 g/g); Fe (18.95512.61 g/g); Cd (0.0010.007 g/g); Ni (0.0020.003 g/g); Zn (2.3621.49 g/g); Mn (0.2870.39 g/g). Iron had the highest average concentration of 18.955g/g while Cd had the least average concentration of 0.001g/g. The amount of these metals were observed to follow the trend Fe> Zn>Cu>Pb>Cr>Mn>Ni>Cd. Statistical analysis showed a significant correlation (r = 0.988; p < 0.01) in the samples collected at commercial and industrial areas. Also, there was a significant correlation in metal levels collected at residential and industrial areas (r = 0.996; p < 0.01). In a similar way, a positive correlation existed between the levels of metals in commercial and residential areas (r = 0.997; p < 0.01). There was a strong correlation at 0.05 significance between Cd, Cr, Mn, Ni and Cu while the correlation of Fe, Pb and Zn was insignificant in all the studied locations. From the results, iron (Fe) was found to be the most abundant metal in the study area. Heavy metals pollution load in the analyzed samples was in the order; industrial> commercial> residential. The results showed that Makurdi atmosphere is not polluted with respect to these heavy metals based on NESREA (National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency) standards.


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