Research Journal Environmental and Earth Sciences 2(1): 39-43, 2010 ISSN: 2041-0492 © M axwell Scientific Organization, 2009 Submitted

Date: October 28, 2009 Accepted Date: November 14, 2009

Published Date: January 10, 2010

Heavy Metal Contamination of Ground Water: The Surulere Case Study
M.A. M omodu and C .A. Anyak ora Departm ent of Pharmaceutical Chem istry, Faculty of Pharmacy, U niversity of Lag os, Nigeria
Abstract: Heavy M etal contamination of the groundwater in middle class neighbourhood of Lagos was assessed. About forty nine well and borehole water samples were analyzed using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer for their Aluminium, Cadmium and Lead content and their levels compared with WHO specified max imum contamina nt level. According to the WHO , the Maximum C ontaminant Level (MCL) for Aluminium, Cadmium and Lead are 0.2, 0.003 and 0.01mg/L respectively. From the results obtained, none of the samples analysed contained Aluminium in concentrations above the MC L, however, the metal was found to be present in 93.88% of the samples analysed. Over 38% of the samples had Cadmium present in them and 32.65% of the sa mple s had Cad mium conc entrations above the MCL. Almost 60% of the samples had detectable level of Lead while 36.73% of the sample had Lead concentration above the MCL. In general 97.96% of all samples an alysed contained one or more o f the three heavy metals studied each in varying concentrations. The results obtained from this study suggest a significant risk to this population given the toxicity of these metals and the fact that for many, hand dug wells and b ore ho les are the only sources of their water supply in this environm ent. Key w ords: AAS, ground water, heavy metals, maximum contamination level and WHO INTRODUCTION W ater is one of the essentials that supports all forms of plant and animal life (Vanloon and Duffy, 2005) and it is generally obtained from two principal natural sources; Surface water such as fresh water lakes, rivers, streams, etc. and Ground water such as borehole water and well water (McM urry and Fay, 2004; Mendie, 2005). Water has unique chemical properties due to its polarity and hydrogen bonds which means it is able to dissolve, absorb, adsorb or suspend many different compounds (WHO, 2007), thus, in nature, water is not pure as it acquires contaminants from its surrounding and those arising from humans and animals as well as other biolog ical activities (M endie, 2005). One of the most important environmental issues today is ground water contamination (Vodela et al., 1997) and between the wide diversity of contaminants affecting water resources, heavy m etals receive particular con cern considering their strong toxicity even at low concentrations (Marcovecchio et al., 2007). Heavy metals are elem ents having atomic we ights between 63.546 and 200.590 and a specific gravity greater than 4.0 i.e. at least 5 times that of water. They exist in water in colloidal, particulate and dissolved phases (Adepoju-Be llo et al., 2009) with their occurrence in water bodies being either of natural origin (e.g. eroded minerals within sediments, leaching of ore deposits and volcanism extruded products) or of anthropogenic origin (i.e. solid w aste disposa l, industrial or domestic effluents, harbour channel dredging) (Marcovecchio et al., 2007). Some of the metals are essential to sustain life-calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium must be present for normal body functions. Also, cobolt, copper, iron, manganese, moly bdenon and zinc are need ed at low levels as catalyst for enzyme activities (Adepoju-Bello et al., 2009), however, excess exposure to heavy metals can result in toxicity. Heavy metal can cause serious health effects with varied symptoms depending on the nature and quantity of the metal ingested (Adepoju-Bello and Alabi, 2005). They produce their toxicity by formin g com plexe s with proteins, in which carboxylic acid (–COO H), amine (–NH 2 ), and thiol (–SH) groups are involved. These modified biological molecules lose their ability to function properly and result in the malfunction or death of the cells. When metals bind to these groups, they inactivate important enzyme systems or affect protein structure, which is linked to the catalytic properties of enzymes. This type of toxin may also cause the formation of radicals which are dangerous chemicals that cause the oxidation of biological molecules. The most comm on heav y metals that humans are exposed to are Aluminium, Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead and Mercury. Aluminium has been associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, senility and presenile dementia. Arsenic exposure can cause among other illness or symptoms cancer, abdom inal pain and skin lesions. Cadmium exposure produces kidney damage and hypertension. Lead is a commutative poison and a

Corresponding Author: Dr. C.A . Anyakora, D epartm ent of Pharm aceu tical Ch emistry, Fac ulty of Pharmacy, University o f Lagos, N igeria 39

Cadmium Chloride and Le ad Nitrate were used for preparation of Aluminium. Ogunlana and Randle. Obele Odan. 2006). 10ml of nitric acid was added to 50ml of water in a 250 ml conical flask. 2(1): 39-43. vision and movement (Hammer and Hammer Jr. Table 1 and 2 give the sample information. The mixture was shaken and the flask made up to the 1 . thus. Aluminium sulphate octadecahydrate. 1. a mod erately populated lower middle class neighbourhood in Lagos. D istilled water labelled DW 28 served as control.Res. the heavy metals discharged by industries. UK. Standard preparation: 1000ppm stock solution of Aluminium. Thus. MATERIALS AND METHODS All chemicals and reagents were of the analytical grade and w ere ob tained from B DH Chemicals Ltd.62. 5% trioxonitrate (V) acid was used for the digestion of the samples.. Kilo. Earth Sci. Cadmium and Lead were prepared by dissolving in a 1 litre volumetric flask 24. Nigeria.. Cadmium and Lead) were determined and the results compared to the maximum contamina nt level specified by the W orld Health Organisation. municipal wastes. J. 2004). With the aid of Atomic Absorption Spectroph otometer the presence and concentration of three heav y me tals (Aluminium.. The samples were collected during the month of July 2009. Ojuelegba. 1997. hearing. inhab itants have had to look for alternative ground water sources such as shallow wells and boreh oles. Sam ple collection and location: Ground water samples were rando mly collected from 4 9 sam pling sites (17 w ells and 32 bore holes) in 11 different areas o f Surulere in Lagos. the use of ground water has become an agent of development because the government is unable to meet the ever increasing water demand.60g of Aluminium sulphate octadecahydrate. Akerele. 2005) while for Mercury . These areas include. The qu ality of these ground water sources are affected by the characteristics of the media through which the water passes on its way to the ground water zon e of saturation (Adeyemi et al. traffic. There is thus the need to assess the quality of ground water sources. Adelabu. the samples were digested with concentrated nitric acid. 2007). Cadmium and Lead standards respectively. Th e aim of this study is to assess the quality of ground water sources in Surulere. Idi-Araba. At higher concentrations. Ikate. Sa m ple digestion: To ensure the rem oval of organic impurities from the samples and thus prevent interference 40 Table 1: Well water samples Sample number WW 1 WW 2 WW 4 WW 5 WW 7 WW 9 WW 14 WW 18 WW 24 WW 27 WW 34 WW 35 WW 41 WW 42 WW 47 WW 48 WW 50 Tab le 2: B oreh ole w ater sa mp le Sample Num ber BH 3 BH 6 BH 8 BH 10 BH 11 BH 12 BH 13 BH 15 BH 16 BH 17 BH 19 BH 20 BH 21 BH 22 BH 23 BH 25 BH 26 BH 29 BH 30 BH 31 BH 32 BH 33 BH 36 BH 37 BH 38 BH 39 BH 40 BH 43 BH 44 BH 45 BH 46 BH 49 Sample Type Well Water Well Water Well Water Well Water Well Water Well Water Well Water Well Water Well Water Well Water Well Water Well Water Well Water Well Water Well Water Well Water Well Water sample Type Borehole Bo reho le Bo reho le Borehole Bo reho le Bo reho le Bo reho le Bo reho le Bo reho le Bo reho le Bo reho le Bo reho le Bo reho le Bo reho le Bo reho le Bo reho le Bo reho le Bo reho le Bo reho le Bo reho le Bo reho le Bo reho le Bo reho le Bo reho le Bo reho le Bo reho le Bo reho le Bo reho le Bo reho le Bo reho le Bo reho le Bo reho le in analysis. Aguda..63 and 1. In addition. Th e W orld H ealth Organisation has specified Maximum Contaminant Level for the presence of heav y me tals in w ater. Environ. Igwilo et al. This can lead to joint diseases and ailment of the kidneys. circulatory system and neurons. toxicity results in mental disturbane and impairment of speech. 2010 possible human carcinogen (Bakare-Odunola. The mixture was evaporated to half its volume on a hot plate after which it was allowed to cool and then filtered. Cadmium chloride and Lead nitrate re spectively w ith 5% nitric acid. In Nigeria today.. hazardous wa ste sites as well as from fertilizers for agricultural purposes and accidental oil spillages from tankers can result in a steady rise in contamination of ground water (Vodela et al. Masha. Lead and Mercury can cause irreversible brain damage. Lead and Mercury may cause the deve lopm ent of autoimmun ity in which a person’s immune system attacks its own cells.

2(1): 39-43.010 0. Samp le analysis: The dige sted water samples w ere analysed for the presence of aluminium.031 — WW 48 0.009 WW 27 0.067 — BH 49 0.88% of the water samples 41 Tab le 3: Re gressio n data for the c alibration plots Metal ion A l 3+ C d 2+ Regression Y = 0.024 — — 0.024 — 0. The three elements studied in this research namely: Aluminium.004 WW 41 0.001 0.024 — BH 43 0.009 0.081 0.099 mg/L.026 0. Table 5: Concentration of metal ions in borehole water A l 3 + (mg/L) C d 2 + (mg/L) BH 3 0.019 equation Coefficient of 0.011 BH 46 0.012 0. The concentration level ranged from 0.001 — BH 32 0.012 0. None of the water samples contained Aluminium above the specified Maximum Contaminant Level (0.010 — — WW 47 0.011 — 0.013 — 0.011 0.24% for well wa ter and 96.022 — BH 44 0. Environ. samples Pb 2 + (mg/L) — — 0.093 — 0.045 — BH 45 0.011 0. the minimum concentration of aluminium detected in the water sam ples for both borehole and well water was 0.0118x – 0.Res. 228.2mg/L).98 Pb 2+ Y = 0. 2010 litre mark with the nitric acid for each metal.002 — BH 8 — 0. W H O ..80nm and 283.001 BH 39 0.095 — BH 20 0.019 — 0.078 — BH 31 0.091 — WW 4 — — — WW 5 — — 0.061 — WW 34 0.010 — BH 25 0.012 — 0.012 0.012 — BH 29 0.078 0.045 — — N ot detected.009 0.001mg /L to 0.010 0.001 WW 9 0. Table 6.089 0.049 0.014 WW 42 0.090 — BH 26 0.085 — BH 21 0. European Union Co mm issio n (Marcov ecch io et al. Earth Sci.008 BH 40 0. There was no detectable heavy metal in the distilled water w hich served as the control. heavy metals have maximum permissible level in water as specified by these organisations.018 0.099mg/L. The calibration plot method w as use d for the analysis. Calibration solutions of the target metal ions were prepared from the standard stock by serial dilution.071 0.012 0.021 0.98 Table 4: Co ncentration of metal ions in w ell water samples A l 3 + (mg/L) C d 2 + (mg/L) Pb 2 + (mg/L) WW 1 0. the wavelength for the determination of the elements were 309.014 — BH 13 0.003mg /L and 0.002 WW 7 0. cadmium and lead respectively.010 BH 36 0. cadmium and lead using the Buck Scien tific 210VG P Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer.031 BH 30 0.019 — 0.016 0.086 — BH 15 0.042 0.009 — — 0.099 — BH 37 0. It is the highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in a water system. 2007).01 Y = 0.011 0. J.002 BH 23 0.98 0.88 % for bo rehole w ater) and since to xicity is associated with continuous low level exposure.959 to 0.021x – 0. EPA. Table 3 shows the regression data for the calibration plots. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Calibration curves were obtained using a series of varying concentrations of the standards for the three metals.001 — BH 6 0. The digested samples were analysed in duplicates with the average concentration of the metal present being displayed in mg/L by the instrum ent after extrapolation from the standard curve.01mg/L respectively (WHO. 2004).2mg/L.098 BH 17 0. 7 and 8 giv e the summ ary of the results obtained in this study for aluminium.021 BH 38 0.019 WW 24 0.011 WW 18 0. Cadmium and Lead respectively. guidelines for the presence of heavy metals in water have been set by different International Organisations such as USEPA.30nm.059 0.008 — BH 33 0. Table 4 and 5 show the level of the metals in the studied water samples. Aluminium was detec ted in 93. Air-acetylene was the flame used and hollow cathode lamp of the corresponding elements was the resonance line source.024 0.016 — BH 22 0.. thus.061 — BH 11 0.012 BH 16 0.067 0.014 0.012 — WW 35 0.010 0.014 0.014 0.0555x –0. All 3 calibration curves were linear with a correlation coefficient ranging from 0. this can even tually lead to serious health effects . Maximum contaminant level (MCL ) is an enforceab le standard set at a numerical value with an adeq uate m argin of safety to ensure no adverse effect on human health. For the protection of human health. Cadmium and Lead have Maximum C ontaminant Levels of 0.9661 0.9672 0.005 0. Aluminium is the most abundant element found in the earth’s crust (John De Zuane.011 BH 10 0.018 WW 50 0. Howev er.014 WW 14 0.051 BH 19 0.007 0.008 0.045 — BH 12 0. 19 90) an d from the resu lt obtained from its analysis.002 — — 0. 0.009 0. 2000.021 — — (88. Ham mer and Ham mer Jr.31nm for aluminium.045 — 0.001mg/L with the maximum concentration being 0.017 — N ot detected.967.041 — 0.9592 determination 2 (R ) Correlation c oe ff ic ie nt ® ) 0.001 — WW 2 0..051 0.

001 mg /L detected Maximum concentration 0. E. The Nig. 42(1): 57-60..003 mg /L 0.73% of the total contained Lead in levels above the Maximum . 2004).18% 28. 2010 Tab le 6: Su mm ary statistics o f Alu min ium ion an alysis Well W ater Bore Ho le Water Num ber of samples 17 32 Num ber with Al detected 15 31 % detected 88.024mg/L. Pharm.010 mg /L 0. Afonne..001 mg /L 0. 1979) as well as a long biological half life (Orisakwe et al.65% Contaminant Level (0.).J. The Nig.003 mg /L 16 32. 2005. 1990 Chemical ParametersInorganics. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. Ham mer. 30 of the collected water samples did not contain detectable levels of Cadmium but of the 19 samples containing Cadmium.001 mg /L detected Maximum concentration 0. J. Toxic Metals and Their Analysis. 2005 )..2m g/L L evel (MC L ) N u m b er ab o ve M C L 0 0 % a b o ve M C L 0 0 Tab le 7: Su mm ary statistics o f Cad miu m io n ana lysis Well water Bore hole water Num ber of samples 17 32 Num ber with Al detected 8 11 % detected 47.A.38% Minimum concentration 0. Water Quality.01m g/L 18 36. 6 of the well water and 12 of the borehole water samples representing 36. J. O. studies have linked lead exposures even at low levels with and increase in blood pressure (Zietz et al.82% Minimum concentration 0. WW 2 and DW 28 (distilled water).. In: Trace Metal: Exposure and Health Effects. 84. 5th Edn.098 mg /L 0. 1993) and with attention disorders (Yule and Rutter. It can also cause kidney damage as well as produce acute health effects resulting from ove r exp osure to high concentrations (Orisakwe et al. O.T. Ayoola and H.E. and M.024 mg /L 0. John De Zuan e.J.Res. Di Ferrante. M. This suggests a significant risk to this population given the toxicity of these metals and the fact that for many. Nige ria. Occup.13% Tab le 8: Su mm ary statistics o f Lea d ion a nalysis Well water Num ber of samples 17 Num ber with Al detected 10 % detected 58. Also. pp: 47-151.2 1% of them were in concentrations above the Maximum Contaminant Level (0. Igwilo. In: Water and W aste W ater Te chnology .093 mg /L 0. Oladiji.099 mg /L detected WH O M aximum Contaminant 0. These results are of concern as lead has been recognised for centuries as a cumulative general metabolic poison (Adepoju-Bello and Alabi.01m g/L L evel (MC L ) N u m b er ab o ve M C L 6 % a b o ve M C L 35. 2007) and in the analysis of the water samples collected for Lead.2m g/L 0 0 Both 49 19 38. CONCLUSION These results show high concentration of these heavy metals and in some cases the levels were above WHO specified M aximum C ontaminant level. O. Jr. 2006). Biochem.024 mg /L 0. pp: 139-159.. Pharm. Oxford.88% Minimum concentration 0.E.. Bakare-Odunola.. 2006) leading to chronic effects as a result of accumulation in the liver and renal cortex (Hammer and Hammer Jr. Lauw erys.2m g/L 0. Determination of some metallic impurities present in soft drinks mark eted in Nigeria.001 mg /L 0. 2004.50% 0. The possible long term effects of chro nic expo sure to lead present in drinking water are subject to considerable public concern (Zietz et al.091 mg /L 0. A. R. Alabi. 61(5): 205-208.001 mg /L 0.O. New-York: Von Nostrand and Reinhold. Overall.. and O.001 mg /L detected Maximum concentration 0. hand dug wells and bore h oles are the only sources of their water sup ply in this environmen t. PA: Hayden and So ns. Toxicologica l study of the Anam River in Otu ocha.18% 0. 2(1): 39-43.. O. Adepoju-Bello. U.B. The Nig. Q uantitative analysis of some toxic metals in domestic water obtained from Lagos metropolis.01mg/L ) with the maximum concentration detected being 0..J.001 mg /L 0.78% 0. Hammer.29% Both 49 46 93. Earth Sci..003 mg /L L evel (MC L ) N u m b er ab o ve M C L 7 9 % a b o ve M C L 41...A. Oloyede and A. M.. This is of concern because Cadmium has carcinogenic properties (Lauw erys.098mg/L. Physicochemical and microbial characteristics of Leachate contaminated ground water. Asian J. Ojomolade. 2007. 2007) as well as with redu ced in telligenc e quo tient in ch ildren (Needleman.. 2006. Coker. J.019 mg /L detected W HO M axim um Con tamin ant 0. Heavy metals: A review. England: Pergamon Press. all other samples co ntained detectable amo unts of one o r more of the heavy metals studied with 8 samples containing all 3 metals. In the analysis of the water samples collected for Cadmiu m. 4(1): 51-54. 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