Pollution Research Paper

Vol.31, Issue 2, 2012; Page No.(131-136)

CONTAMINATION OF SOIL AND RIVERS BY LEAD FROM USED ENGINE OIL: A CASE STUDY OF CHOBA COMMUNITY IN PORT-HARCOURT, NIGERIA

K. M. OGHENEJOBOH AND E.O. OHIMOR

Abstract

Lead pollution arising from indiscriminate disposal of used lubricating oil on soil and river by roadside motor mechanics in Choba Port-Harcourt was studied. The results of the study show lead concentrantion of 351.02 μg/g and 493.13 μg/g for soil samples collected around the mechanic workshop for the rainy and dry seasons respectively. The lead concentration reduces as the distance from the workshop increases, reducing to as low as 32.41 μg/g and 12.12 μg/g respectively as the distance from the workshop increases to more than 500 metres. Higher concentration of lead was recorded around the workshop during the dry seasons, this is due to the fact that the discarded used oil remains on the ground longer than during the rainy seasons due to continual run-off of the oil by rain waters. Results from samples taken in a cassava farm about 500 metres from the workshop show lead concentration far below levels recommended for soil by FEPA/WHO. Water analyses from the Choba River show high lead concentrations at the point of water run-off from the mechanic workshop to the river with the highest concentrations recorded around the point where vessels and barges are docked, indicating oil leakages from the vessels into the river. No trace of lead was found in water samples taken some nurtical miles away from the workshop site. Although low lead concentrations are recorded as the distance from the workshop increases in both soil and river, lead in these media may be bioaccumulated over long period of time which could be dangerous..

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