International Journal of Environmental Sciences

Volume 5 Issue 5 2015- March 2015    Pages: 964- 979  <<Previous    Next>>

Assessment of heavy metals pollution and natural radioactivity in topsoil of Savar industrial area, Bangladesh

Author Information:

B.M.R. Faisal1, R.K. Majumder2 M. J. Uddin1, F. Deeba2, D. Paul3,, M.A. Haydar3,, M. I. Ali3,
1-Department of Environmental Sciences, Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka-1342, Bangladesh
2-Nuclear Minerals Unit, Atomic Energy Research Establishment, Dhaka-1349,
3-Health Physics & Radioactive Waste Management Unit, INST, Atomic Energy Research Establishment, Dhaka-1349


A total number of twenty topsoil samples were analyzed for heavy metals using X-ray Fluorescence System where as radioactivity levels of seven samples were determined by High Purity Germanium (HPGe) detector. The average concentrations of Mn, Zn, Cr, Co and Cu were 584.68, 213.04, 190.33, 164.63 and 100.18 mg/kg respectively in topsoil, which were much above the recommended level as well as higher than their corresponding background values thus indicating environmental pollution. The order of average heavy metal contents was Mn>Zn>Cr>Co>Cu>As>Pb in topsoil. Soil pollution assessment was carried out by using enrichment factor (EF), geoaccumulation index (Igeo), contamination factor (CF), degree of contamination (Cd) and pollution load index (PLI). The soil shows moderate enrichment of Cu and minimal enrichment with Zn, Pb, Cr, As, and Co. Whereas Igeo and CF exhibit moderate to high contamination for Mn, Zn, Cu, Cr and Co. The results of PLI of analyzed heavy metals indicate that the study area is contaminated with heavy metals like Mn, Zn, Cu, Cr and Co. Multivariate statistical analyses, principal component and cluster analysis shows significant anthropogenic intrusions of Cr, Mn, As, Pb, Co and Cu in the topsoil of the study area. The calculated average activity concentrations of radionuclides 226Ra, 232Th and 40K in topsoil were 30.56, 60.45 and 706.00 respectively. The estimated average Absorbed Dose Rate (D) and the Outdoor Annual Effective Dose (E) and the External Hazard Index (Hex) are 79.54 nGyh-1, 0.10mSvy-1 and 0.46 Bq.Kg-1 respectively. The result of Pearson linear correlation coefficient between heavy metals and the observed radionuclides shows negative or negligible correlation which means that the radioactivity level are not associated with heavy metal concentration. But significant positive correlation between 40K and Mn strongly suggests that these elements may arise from clay minerals and/or agricultural inputs in this area.

Keywords: Heavy Metals, Heavy Metal Pollution Index, Multivariate Statistical Analysis, Natural Radioactivity, Radioactive Health Hazard Indices


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