Diseases and their associated health defects are most often related to the quality of the total environment which in itself is also related to the quality and quantity of wastes generated in those areas, as partly defined by the nature of activities carried out by the populace. This environment-health relationship dynamics are particularly evident in most tropical environments like Nigeria where various environmental media are laden with sundry pollutants including metals, most of which are often furnished by wastes. This study aims at investigating the environmental metal load of Aba, a major commercial city in South-east Nigeria which is home to many artisanal, small- and medium-scale industrial activities, but presently experiencing waste-related menace. Randomly collected soil samples from different areas of Aba metropolis and a sub-urban community considered less polluted (to serve as control) were analyzed for heavy and non-heavy metals. Results show that while the mean of the estimated heavy metals in the six sites ranged from 0.31 ± 0 to 1293.75 ± 0 µg/g, for non-heavy metals it ranged between 55.01 ± 24.88 and 903.74 ± 1081.25. In the control site, the range is between 0 and 1293.75 ± 0 for heavy metals while for the non-heavy metals, it is between 72.73 ± 0 and 410.50 ± 0. The results indicate that the mean concentrations for most of the metals were high with respect to the Nigerian Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA) and World Health Organization (WHO) standards. Findings in this study have serious implications for public health.
Key words: Environmental, heavy metals pollutants load, Aba, Nigeria.
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