Heavy Metals Pollution in Surface Soils in the Vicinity of Abundant Railway Servicing Workshop in Kumasi, Ghana



Heavy metals in soils are of great environmental concern, in order to determine heavy metal content in the surface soil from the vicinity of an abundant railway servicing workshop and evaluate the contamination levels, 40 surface soil samples were collected and analyzed for Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb, Fe and Ni contents using atomic absorption spectroscopy. Soil texture, conductivity, pH, total organic content and cation exchange capacity were also measured. Heavy metals concentrations were determined after digestion of samples with aqua regia. In the investigated soils, the mean recorded concentrations of the heavy metals were 7.21 mg/kg f ff or Cu, 0.033 mg/kg for Ni, 0.087 mg/ kg for Cd, 48.52 mg/kg for Fe, 7.33 mg/kg for Zn and 26.66 mg/kg for Pb. The reported results indicate that the enrichment factors of the measured heavy metals were 2.26, >0.1, 0.39 and 3.47 for copper, nickel, zinc and lead respectively. I-geo (geoaccumulation index) values of the metals in the soils under study indicate that they are uncontaminated to slightly contaminate with nickel and iron but highly contaminated with copper and lead.