Evaluation of heavy metals in agricultural soils from Katsina state Nigeria

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This work contributes to the monitoring of Agricultural soil pollution in Katsina State, North western Nigeria by assessing the degree of heavy metal pollution in Agricultural soil samples. The study was conducted in the year 2017 within some catchment areas located within the 3 senatorial zones that constitute to make up the state (Katsina senatorial zone: Birchi, Dutsinma and Katsina; Daura senatorial zone: Daura, Ingawa and Zango; Funtua senatorial zone: Dabai, Funtua, Kafur, Malunfashi and Matazu).  Analysis for the concentration of these heavy metals; Cr, Cd, Fe, Ni, Mn, Pb and Zn was conducted by the use of AAS (by Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry) method. . Several indices were used to assess the metal contamination levels in the Agricultural soil samples, namely; Geo-accumulation Index (Igeo), Enrichment Factor (EF), Contamination Factor (CF), Degree of Contamination (Cd) and Pollution Load Index (PLI). The result of this study has shown that generally among the heavy metals evaluated, the highest concentration was observed for Fe (range: 20.195-38.347 ppm), followed by Zn (range: 0.528-1.134 ppm), Pb (range: 0.256-0.627 ppm), Mn (range: 0.261-0.572 ppm) and Cr (range: 0.093-0.344 ppm). While Cd has the lowest concentration (range: 0.022-0.043 ppm). For all the site sampled the heavy metal Ni was below detection level (BDL). From the results of heavy metals I-geo values, according to Muller’s classification,  soil samples from Birchi, Daura, Dutsinma, Kafur and Zango were unpolluted (class 0) while soil samples from Dabai, Funtua, Ingawa, Katsina, Malunfashi and Matazu are moderately polluted (class 1). The result for the enrichment factor has shown that with the exception of the heavy metal Fe, which shows significant enrichment for all the sites sampled all the other heavy metals show deficiency to minimal enrichment. Also based on the contamination factors for all soil samples the heavy metal Fe has a CF values range of 1.2861-2.3240, indicating that the Agricultural soil samples are moderately contaminated with Fe. In contrast, the rest of the heavy metals exhibit low contamination in general. The value of PLI ranges from 0.2408 to 0.4935, indicating unpolluted to moderate pollution, with the sampling site for Katsina displaying the highest PLI value while the sampling site of Ingawa has the lowest PLI. The Eri values for all samples are all < 40, presenting low ecological risk.  The results suggest that the Agricultural soils samples from Katsina state has low contamination by the heavy metals evaluated.

Key words: Agricultural soils, Heavy metals, Katsina state, Pollution load index, Contamination factor.

Article Details

Aliyu Ibrahim Yaradua
Adamu Jibrin Alhassan
Abdullahi Nasir
Kabir Ibrahim Matazu
Aminu Usman
Aminu Idi
Ibrahim Muhammad Usman
Azik Musa Kanadi


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