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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(9), 11448-11465; doi:10.3390/ijerph120911448

Ecological Risk of Heavy Metals and a Metalloid in Agricultural Soils in Tarkwa, Ghana

1
Laboratory of Toxicology, Department of Environmental Veterinary Sciences, Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine, Hokkaido University, Kita 18, Nishi 9, Kita ku, Sapporo 060–0818, Japan
2
Department of Chemistry, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Private Mail Bag, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana
3
Department of Environmental Veterinary Sciences, Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine, Hokkaido University, Kita 18, Nishi 9, Kita ku, Sapporo 060–0818, Japan
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Nil Basu, Susan Keane and Paleah Black Moher
Received: 18 May 2015 / Revised: 31 August 2015 / Accepted: 6 September 2015 / Published: 11 September 2015
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Abstract

Heavy metals and a metalloid in agricultural soils in 19 communities in Tarkwa were analyzed to assess the potential ecological risk. A total of 147 soil samples were collected in June, 2012 and analyzed for As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb and Zn. Mean concentrations (mg/kg dw) of heavy metals in the communities decreased in order of Zn (39) ˃ Cr (21) ˃ Pb (7.2) ˃ Cu (6.2) ˃ As (4.4) ˃ Ni (3.7) ˃ Co (1.8) ˃ Hg (0.32) ˃ Cd (0.050). Correlations among heavy metals and soil properties indicated that soil organic matter could have substantial influence on the total contents of these metals in soil. From the results, integrated pollution (Cdeg) in some communities such as, Wangarakrom (11), Badukrom (13) and T–Tamso (17) indicated high pollution with toxic metals, especially from As and Hg. Potential ecological risk (RI) indices indicated low (Mile 7) to high risks (Wangarakrom; Badukrom) of metals. Based on pollution coefficient (Cif), Cdeg, monomial ecological risk (Eir) and RI, the investigated soils fall within low to high contamination and risk of heavy metals to the ecological system especially plants, soil invertebrates and/or mammalian wildlife. This represented moderate potential ecological risk in the study area, and mining activities have played a significant role. View Full-Text
Keywords: heavy metals; metalloid; agricultural soil; Tarkwa; integrated pollution; ecological risk heavy metals; metalloid; agricultural soil; Tarkwa; integrated pollution; ecological risk
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Bortey-Sam, N.; Nakayama, S.M.M.; Akoto, O.; Ikenaka, Y.; Baidoo, E.; Mizukawa, H.; Ishizuka, M. Ecological Risk of Heavy Metals and a Metalloid in Agricultural Soils in Tarkwa, Ghana. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 11448-11465.

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