Impact of Effluents from a Car Battery Manufacturing Plant in Nigeria on Water, Soil, and Food Qualities

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ABSTRACT.The authors investigated the impact of effluents from a car battery manufacturing plant in Nnewi, Nigeria, on water, soil, and food qualities. The authors analyzed heavy metals mercury, arsenic, lead, cadmium and nickel in tap and cassava waters, soil, dried cassava tuber, and edible fruit samples from the company, using an atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Other parameters the authors analyzed include pH, electrical conductivity (EC), salinity (SAL), total hardness (TH), biological oxygen demand (BOD), volatile and nonvolatile solids, and bacterial and fungal loads of the soil samples. Results show that lead had the highest concentration in all the samples, with the soil samples having the highest lead concentration (38-12 ppm, 102 ppm) and the water samples having the lowest (0.02-0.20 ppm). Mercury had the lowest concentration (<0.0002 ppm) in all the samples. Soil sample B had the highest concentration of all the metals tested. Cassava water had higher levels of EC, SAL, TH, BOD, and volatile and nonvolatile solids, but lower pH than tap water. Bacterial loads were higher than fungal loads in all the soil samples. Because there was moderate contamination of the environment by some of the metals studied, with lead being exceptionally high and above the specified international standards, the authors recommend control measures to reduce lead exposure to the local populace within and around this industry.

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