Fate and Potential Mobility of Arsenic (As) in the Soil of Mechanic Workshops

  •  Femi Oloye    
  •  Isaac Ololade    
  •  Oluyinka Oluwole    
  •  Marcus Bello    
  •  Oluwabunmi Oluyede    
  •  Oluranti Ololade    


In order to determine Arsenic (As) content in soils, from the vicinity of an automobile mechanic’s workshop and to evaluate the contamination levels, different soil layers (0 – 15cm, 15 – 30cm and 30 – 45cm depth) were collected and analyzed for As content using atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS). Soil texture, conductivity, pH, total organic content and cation exchange capacity were also measured. Sequential extraction was carried out to determine geochemical phases of As. In the investigated soil samples, the mean total As concentrations were 2.45-2.53, 2.14-2.26 and 2.69-2.79 mg/kg for 0-15 cm, 15-30 cm and 30-45 cm depth respectively. Generally the affinity of As with the soil fraction increases in the order F3 < F6 < F1 < F2 < F5 < F4 < F7. The levels found in this study exceeded the background concentrations and safe limits for agricultural and residential purposes. The reported results indicate that the enrichment factors (EF) of As was 3.55-3.66, 4.04-4.26 and 3.49-3.62 mg/kg for top, middle and inner soils respectively; while the geoaccumulation index (Igeo) values of the metals in the soils studied indicate that they are uncontaminated to slightly contaminated with As. The results indicate that waste from auto-mechanic workshops represent a potential source of heavy metal pollution to the surrounding environment.

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