Concentration and Toxicity levels of heavy metal pollutants in soils and vegetation in Kitwe (Copperbelt), Zambia

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Lupupa, Mubanga Stephen
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In Zambia, mining of minerals is concentrated in the Copperbelt province. This and other industries of the area has brought about environmental degradation through release of possible unwanted toxic substances. The purpose of this study was to obtain the concentration of heavy metal pollutants, and determine the extent of pollution in the city of Kitwe, Zambia. Cadmium, Cobalt, Copper, Lead and Zinc were investigated up to 20km away from the Nkana smelter in three directions; North-west, West and South¬east. High concentrations of metals were detected in soils and plants near the smelter and show inverse relationship with distance from the smelter.The resuhs ranged between 0.7 to 43mg Co/kg, 6.6 to 5300mg Cu/kg, 1.4 to 30.5mg Pb/kg, 0.5 to 76.5mg Zn/kg in soils and 4.3 to 94.5mg Co/kg, 7.6 to 2330mg Cu/kg and 22.2 to 175mg Zn/kg dry matter in plants. The results were trace for lead in plant samples and trace for cadmium in both soil and plant samples.
Pollution -- Environmental aspects -- Zambia , Soil pollution -- Copperbelt, Zambia--Soil pollution -- Copperbelt, Zambia