Assessment of Heavy Metal Pollution Status in Surface Soil of a Nigerian University


  • M. A. Lala Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria
  • S. Kawu Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria
  • O. A. Adesina Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria
  • J. A. Sonibare Department of Chemical Engineering Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria


Contamination indices, Ecological risk assessment, Multivariate techniques, Afe-Babalola University


The problem of urban soil contamination with heavy metals due to rapid urbanization and industrialization has been a major concern in recent years. A university can be considered as a product of industrialization and urbanization which is associated with different activities that may induce heavy metals pollution into the environment. Therefore, this research work assessed the contamination level of chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), zinc (Zn) and manganese (Mn) in surface soils of Afe-Babalola university (ABUAD) using various indices. Soil samples were taken from ten (10) different functional sites in the university. These samples were taken to the laboratory and analyzed for chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), zinc (Zn) and manganese (Mn) using standard method. The mean concentrations of copper (Cu), chromium (Cr) and lead (Pb) were up to 0.75, 0.66 and 0.36 mg/g respectively, while manganese (Mn) and zinc (Zn) were 1.37 and 0.49 mg/g respectively. The average    concentration of manganese (Mn) was comparable to its corresponding natural background value, but the average concentration of chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn) and lead (Pb) were higher. They were approximately of the ratio 1:7, 1:2, 1:3 and 1:2 respectively compared to their corresponding natural background value. The multivariate statistical analyses indicated that vehicles, power generating sets, petrol station, machine workshops, production plants and emissions from outdoor roasted food spots were the major sources of heavy metals contamination on the universitys’ soil. The results from contamination indices and assessment showed that the contamination level of soils within the university can generally be classified as moderately contaminated. Therefore, periodic assessment of the sources and associated ecological risks of the heavy metals is highly recommended. This is to enable decision-makers to effectively manage the environment in the manner that will preserve public and ecosystem health.


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How to Cite

Lala, M. A., Kawu, S., Adesina, O. A., & Sonibare, J. A. (2022). Assessment of Heavy Metal Pollution Status in Surface Soil of a Nigerian University. Journal of the Nigerian Society of Physical Sciences, 4(3), 887.



Original Research