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Heavy metal composition of maize and tomato grown on contaminated soils

A.O. Adekiya
  • Corresponding author
  • College of Agricultural Sciences, Landmark University, PMB 1001, Omu-Aran, Kwara State, Nigeria
  • Email
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/ A.P. Oloruntoba
  • Department of Crop, Soil and Pest Management, Federal University of Technology, PMB 704, Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria
  • Other articles by this author:
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/ S.O. Ojeniyi
  • Department of Crop, Soil and Pest Management, Federal University of Technology, PMB 704, Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria
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/ B.S. Ewulo
  • Department of Crop, Soil and Pest Management, Federal University of Technology, PMB 704, Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria
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Published Online: 2018-10-26 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opag-2018-0046


The study investigated the level of heavy metal contamination in plants {maize (Zea mays) and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.)} from thirty soil samples of three locations (Epe, Igun and Ijana) in the Ilesha gold mining area, Osun State, Nigeria. Total concentrations of As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn were determined using atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Spatial variations were observed for all metals across the locations which was adduced to pH and the clay contents of the soils of each location. The results showed that heavy metals are more concentrated in the areas that are closer to the mining site and the concentrations in soil and plants (maize and tomato) decreased with increasing perpendicular distance from the mining site, indicating that the gold mine was the main sources of pollution. The mean concentrations of heavy metals in plants (tomato and maize) samples were considered to be contaminated as As, Cd and Pb respectively ranged from 0.6 - 2.04 mg kg-1, 0.8 - 5.2 mg kg-1, 0.8 - 3.04 mg kg-1 for tomato and respectively 0.60 - 2.00 mg kg-1, 1.50 - 4.60 mg kg-1 and 0.90 - 2.50 mg kg-1 for maize. These levels exceeded the maximum permissible limits set by FAO/WHO for vegetables. In conclusion, monitoring of crops for toxic heavy metals is essential for food safety in Nigeria.

Keywords: Maize; tomato; As; Cd; Pb; heavy metal; soil


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About the article

Received: 2018-05-23

Accepted: 2018-08-08

Published Online: 2018-10-26

Published in Print: 2018-10-01

Citation Information: Open Agriculture, Volume 3, Issue 1, Pages 414–426, ISSN (Online) 2391-9531, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opag-2018-0046.

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© by A.O. Adekiya et al., published by De Gruyter. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

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