Open Access Peer-reviewed Research Article

Concentration levels and pollution status of selected heavy metals in active dumpsites in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria

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Victor Uchenna Okechukwu
Valentine Ifenna Onwukeme
Victor Chukwuemeka Eze corresponding author
Chiedozie Chukwuemeka Aralu


This study was carried out to assess the extent of concentration exposure of As, Cu, Cr, Ni and Mn in the soils of five active dumpsites located at (Eliozu, Oyibo, Eneka, Eleme and Woji) in the city of Port Harcourt Rivers State, Nigeria to evaluate the pollution indices of heavy metals. Soil samples were collected randomly at the quadrant from the dumpsite while control samples were collected from farmland 25 km away from the dumpsite. Some physiochemical parameters (pH, TOC and CEC) of the soils were evaluated using standard techniques, while the heavy metal concentrations were evaluated using Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS). The pollution levels of soil heavy metals were assessed using several pollution indices. The mean concentration of heavy metals (mg/kg) ranged between As (ND – 0.45), Cr (ND – 2.21), Cu (6.05 – 51.87), Mn (3.24 – 37.91), Ni (ND – 13.50) across the studied dumpsites. The heavy metal levels in soil samples observed were in the order of Cu > Mn > Ni > Cr > As (Eleme), Cu > Mn > As > Ni > Cr (Eliozu), Cu > Mn > Ni > Cr > As (Eneka), Cu > Mn > Cr (Oyigbo), Cu > Mn > Ni > Cr > As (Woji), Cu > Mn > Ni > Cr > As (Control Site). The pH results were relatively acidic across the studied dumpsites ranging from 5.7±0.58 to 6.63± 0.02, while the TOC levels were low to moderate showing no wide disparity in the values. The Cation exchange capacity (CEC) showed a range of 13.98±0.186 (Eneka) to 20.98±0.061 cmol/kg (Woji) across the studied dumpsites. The Igeo values except for Ni, Cu and Mn at Eneka dumpsite, Cr and As in all the studied dumpsites revealed moderate to heavy contamination. Pollution load index (˃ 1) was  in the studied dumpsites which implies that there is heavy metal pollution across the studied dumpsites. Anthropogenicity indicates that human activity is mostly responsible for the increase in metals in the studied area. Low ecological risk indices for the heavy metals (Ni, Cu, Cr, Mn, As) were found in all the sampling locations except for copper in Oyibo dumpsite. According to the findings, there is a low to moderate level of heavy metal pollution in the soils from the dumpsite, which can deteriorate the food ecosystem if adequate measures are not put in place.

dumpsite, ecological risk, heavy metals, pollution indices

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How to Cite
Okechukwu, V. U., Onwukeme, V. I., Eze, V. C., & Aralu, C. C. (2024). Concentration levels and pollution status of selected heavy metals in active dumpsites in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. Chemical Reports, 5(1), 275-284.


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