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Evaluation of Heavy Metal Species in Bottom Sediments from Imo River System, Southeastern Nigeria

Author Affiliations

  • 1 Technical Services Department (QA/QC), Notore Chemical Industries Limited, Corporate Office, Notore Industrial Complex, Onne, Rivers State, NIGERIA
  • 2 Department of Pure and Industrial Chemistry, College of Natural & Applied Sciences, University of Port Harcourt, P. M. B. 5323, Port Harcourt, NIGERIA
  • 3 Central Instruments Laboratory (CIL), College of Natural & Applied Sciences, University of Port Harcourt, P.M.B. 5323, Port Harcourt, NIGERIA

Res.J.chem.sci., Volume 4, Issue (6), Pages 23-30, June,18 (2014)


Total metal concentrations and five-stage sequential extraction schemes were employed to investigate the potential environmental risk of six important metals in sediments from the upper reaches of Imo River system in Southeastern Nigeria. The concentrations of trace metals in each fraction were determined using AANALYST 400 Perkin-Elmer AAS. The average concentrations (mg/kg) for the six metals in dry season sediment samples were 0.30 0.09 (Cd), 2.28 1.20 (Cu), 12.35 8.97 (Zn), 1.79 0.74 (Ni), 3.52 1.68 (Pb), and 2025.72 304.43 (Fe), while the mean metal concentrations (mg/kg) in wet season samples were 0.29 0.05 (Cd), 2.06 0.74 (Zn), 24.57 5.78 (Cu), 5.79 1.67 (Ni), 6.26 3.73 (Pb), and 2534 476.98 (Fe) respectively. Fe and Pb content in river sediments exceed the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA) regulatory Standards for soil. Chemical speciation study applying the five-stage sequential extraction schemes revealed that Cd in sediment prevails mostly in exchangeable fractions. Cu, Pb and Fe were more prevalent in residual fractions, while Zn and Ni were found more in carbonate, organic and residual fractions. Eco-toxicological assessment of the river sediments using the mobility factor indices reveals the following sequence: nickel &


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