Heavy Metals Contamination of Rice and Soil Samples in Nnatu St Azuuiyi Udene, Abakiliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria

Helen Anthony Waribo *

Rivers State University, Oroworukwo, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria.

Ngozi Bernadette Ohakwe

Rivers State University, Oroworukwo, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria.

E. O. Anyalebechi

Rivers State University, Oroworukwo, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria.

Daye Mandy George

School of Pharmaceutical Technology, Rivers State College of Health Science and Management Technology, Oro-Owo Rumueme, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

Ebirien-Agana Samuel Bartimaeus

Rivers State University, Oroworukwo, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Aim: Assess  the levels of heavy metals: arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn) in three different sites of the major rice growing soils and determine  its accumulation in the rice grown on the same site in Nnatu St Azuuiyi Udene, Abakiliki, Ebonyi State.

Study Design: Soil and rice samples were collected from three different farm locations into properly labeled plastic bags respectively using a 9mm soil Augerin Nnatu St AzuuiyiUdene, Abakiliki, Ebonyi State.

Methodology: The collected samples were air-dried, ground, sieved and acid digested. The heavy metals in the samples were measured by atomic absorption spectrophotometer PG instrument AA500 FPC model.

Results: The Mean ± SD (mg/kg) of heavy metals in rice were; As: 0.0013, Cd: 0.001, Pb: 0.002, Zn: 0.3620. Cu: 0.001 in site 1 whereas in Site 2; As: 0.0013, Cd:0.001, Pb:0.002, Zn:0.5040, Cu:0. 001. In site 3, the metals in rice were; As: 0.0013, Cd: 0.001, Pb: 0.002, Zn: 0.1950, and Cu: 0.040 respectively. The levels in the soil samples in site 1 were; As: 0.0013, Cd: 0.001, Pb: 0.002, Zn: 1.932. Cu: 0. 0267. In site 2, As: 0.0013, Cd: 0.001, Pb: 0.002, Zn: 1.597, Cu: 0.1550 and in site 3. As: 0.0013, Cd: 0.001, Pb: 0.002, Zn: 3.383, Cu: 0.0730 respectively. The mean values for arsenic, cadmium and lead in the soil and rice samples, respectively, were not significantly different (P > 0.05) in the three different sites whereas, for copper and zinc, the mean values were significantly different (P < 0.05) from each other at the different spots with an elevated concentration of copper and zinc in the soil samples than in the rice samples. However, these values were far lower than the values indicated by the World Health Organization as hazardous.

Conclusion: The rice samples grown in Nnatu St AzuuiyiUdene, Abakiliki is safe for consumption.

Keywords: Heavy metals, soil, rice, Abakiliki, Ebonyi State

How to Cite

Waribo, H. A., Ohakwe, N. B., Anyalebechi , E. O., George, D. M., & Bartimaeus, E.-A. S. (2023). Heavy Metals Contamination of Rice and Soil Samples in Nnatu St Azuuiyi Udene, Abakiliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria. Journal of Advances in Medical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 25(1), 1–9. https://doi.org/10.9734/jamps/2023/v25i1593


Lenntech. Water treatment and air purification. Water Treatment, Rotterdamseweg, Netherlands; 2004. Retrieved:www.excelwater.com/thp/filters/Water-urification.htm. Accessed May 12, 2014.

Pourret O, Bollinger J, Hursthouse A. Heavy metal: A misused term? ActaGeochemica. 2021;40(1):466–471.

Kinuthia GK, Ngure V, Beti D, Lugalia R, Wangila A, Kamau L. Levels of heavy metals in wastewater and soil samples from open drainage channels in Nairobi, Kenya: community health implication. Scientific Reports. 2020;10:8435.

Saunders JE, Jastrzembski BG, Buckey JC, Enriquez D, Mackeenzie TA, Karagas MR. Hearing loss and heavy metal toxicity in a Nicaraguan mining community: Audio logical results and case reports. Audio logical Neurotology. 2013;18(2):101-113.

Satish P, Ridhi S, Varun J, Garg J. Heavy metal pollution in surface water of the Upper Ganga River, India: Human health risk assessment. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. 2020;192:742.

Onyeneke R, Amadi M, Njoku CL. Climate change adaptation strategies by rice processors in Ebonyi State, Nigeria. Ekológia (Bratislava). 2022;41(3):283-290.

Pateriya A, Verma RK, Sankhla MS, Kumar R. Heavy Metal Toxicity in Rice and its Effects on Human Health. Letters in Applied Nano Bio Science. 2020;10(1): 1833-1845.

Gall J, Boyd R, Rajakaruna N. Transfer of heavy metals through terrestrial food webs: A review. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. 2015;187(4):201-205.

Satpathy D, Reddy MV, Dhal SP. Risk assessment of heavy metals contamination in paddy soil, plants, and grains (Oryza sativa L.) at the East Coast of India. Biomed Res Int. 2014;545473.

Egwu-Ikechukwu MM, Uzoh CV, Egwu IH, Ude IU, Isirue AMC, Kenneth O, Onuoha SC, Akuma SO, Nnaji JO. Impact of heavy metal contamination on soil, rice plants and microbial communities within mining sites located in Ebonyi State, Nigeria. Journal of pharmaceutical Sciences and Research. 2020;12(5):698-703.

Waribo HA, Kalu CR, Anyalabechi EO, Briggs ON, Bartimaeus ES. Evaluation of heavy metal content and human risk assessment of water leaf (Talinum triangulare) grown on Arsenic spiked soils. Journal of Advances in Medical and Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2022;24(6): 5-17.

Adimalla N, Qian H. Wang H. Assessment of heavy metal (HM) contamination in agricultural soil lands in northern Telangana, India: An approach of spatial distribution and multivariate statistical analysis. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. 2019;191:246.

Agenin J. Lead in a Nigerian savannah soil under long-term cultivation. Science of the Total Environment. 2002;288:1–14.

Anguelov G, Anguelova I. Assessment of land-use effect on trace elements concentrations in soils solution from Utisols in North Florida. Agriculture, Ecosystem and Environment. 2009;130: 59–66.

Bashir I, Lone FA, Bhat RA, Mir SA, Dar ZA, Dar SA. Concerns and Threats of Contamination on Aquatic Ecosystems. In: Hakeem, K., Bhat, R., Qadri, H. (eds) Bioremediation and Biotechnology. Springer, Cham; 2020. Available:https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-35691-0_1

Zhuang P, Zou B, Li N, Li Z. Heavy metal contamination in soils and food crops around Dabaoshan mine in Guangdong, China: implication for human health. Environmental Geochemistry and Health. 2009;31(6):707–715.

Orisakwe O, Nduka J, Amadi C, Dike D, Bede O. Heavy metals health risk assessment for population via consumption of food crops and fruits in Owerri, South Eastern Nigeria Chemical Century Journal. 2012;6(1):77-78.

Xuchao Z, Longxi C, Yin L. Spatial distribution and risk assessment of heavy metals inside and outside a typical lead-zinc mine in south-eastern China. Environmental Science and Pollution Research. 2019;26:26265–26275.

Eyankware M, Ephraim B. A comprehensive review of water quality monitoring and assessment in Delta State, Southern Part of Nigeria. Journal of Environmental & Earth Sciences. 2021; 13(1):16-28.

Alloway B, Jackson A. Behaviour of trace metals in sludge-amended soils. Science Total Environment. 1999;100:151–176.

Gray C, Mclaren R, Roberts A, Condron, L. The effect of long-time phosphatic fertilizer applications on the amounts and forms of cadmium in soils under pasture in New Zealand. Nutrient Cycling in Agro Ecosystem. 1999;54:267–27.

Nriagu J. The rise and fall of leaded gasoline. Science of the Total Environment. 1990;92:13–28.

Waribo HA, Bartimaeus ES, Onuoha IC. Assessment of some heavy metal content of dried crayfish sold in Creek road market, Borokiri, Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Asian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Research. 2019;5(1):1-6.

Nnabo P, Orazulike D, Offor C. The preliminary assessment of the level of heavy Elements contaminations in stream bed sediments of Enyigba and environs, south eastern Nigeria Journal of Basic Physical Research. 2011;2(2): 43–52.

Taylor M, Mackay A, Hudson – Edwards K, Holz E Soil Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn Contaminant, around Isa City, Queensland, Australia: Potential Sources and risks to human health. Applied Geochemistry. 2010;25:841-855.

Benjamin, Ebonyi N. Home of rice. Available:https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2016/08/17/ebonyi-home-of-rice/2016.

Accessed: Noveber 09, 2021.

Okorie F, Njoku J, Onweremadu E, Iwuji M. Physico-Chemical Soil Properties and Their Correlations with Maize and Cassava Production in Ebonyi, Nigeria. American Journal of Climate Change. 2020;9:34-51.

Okonkwo UU, Ukaogo V, Kenechukwu D. Nwanshindu V, Okeagu G. The politics of rice production in Nigeria: The Abakaliki example, 1942-2020. Congents Arts and Science. 2021;8(1):1-8.

Wei C, Chen T. Hyperaccumulators and phytoremediation of heavy metal contaminated soil: A review of studies in China and abroad. Acta Ecologica Sinica. 2001;21:1196-1203.

Naseri M, Varzizadeh A, ZakemiR, Zaheri F. Concentration of some heavy metals in rice types available in Shiraz market and health risk assessment. Food Chemistry. 2015;175:243-238.

Ihedioha J, Ujam O, Nwuche C, Ekere N, Chime C. Assessment of heavy metal contamination of rice grains (Oryza sativa) and soil from Ada field, Enugu, Nigeria: Estimating the human health risk. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: An International Journal. 2016;22(8):1-8.

WHO. Permissible limits of heavy metals in soil and plants (Geneva) World Health Organization, Zwitzerland; 1996.

Oloruntoba A, Oloruntoba AP, Oluwaseun AR. Determination of Heavy Metal Levels In Green Pea (Pisum sativum) a case study of selected markets in Abuja, FCT. American Journal of Innovative Research and Applied Sciences. 2017;5(5):343-349.

World Health Organization (WHO). Lead poisoning. Availabe:https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/lead-poisoning-and-health.

Accessed November 06, 2021.

Mundi A, Ibrahim U, Mustapha I. Contamination and Pollution Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in Rice Samples (Oryza sativa) from Nasarawa West, Nigeria. Asian Journal of Advanced Research and Reports. 2019;3(4):1-8.