HEAVY METALS LEVELS IN CARICA PAPAYAL. TREE BARK AS INDICATOR OF ATMOSPHERIC POLLUTION IN ABAKALIKI MUNICIPALITYCHUKWUKA, K.S,AND UKA, U.N
Air pollution is one of the serious problems faced by the people especially in municipal areas of underdeveloped countries. Therefore studies on heavy metals in Carica papayatree bark as indicator of atmospheric pollution in Abakaliki South-East Nigeria were carried out. Sampling of Carica papayabark was performed in three sites with three different degrees of pollution. Heavy metals (Copper, Zinc, Lead and Cadmium) were determined using Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer. Bark extract pH was measured using calibrated digital pH meter. There were variations in the studied heavy metals between the sites (Cu, Pb and Zn) with high values indicating increased traffic and industrial activities. The mean concentration of heavy metals and pH between the sampling sites showed significant differences except for Cd concentration between site 1 and site 2. The higher pH value for the Carica papayabark is known to improve air pollution tolerance. It can be concluded that Carica papayatree bark can be used as an indicator of heavy metal pollution.
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