The influence of hospital waste dumps and incinerator ash on the receiving environment

Samples of dump soil, incinerator ash and food crops (tomatoes, guava, and banana) were collected from Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital waste dumpsite, waste incinerator and from farmland respectively within the vicinity of the study area. Samples were collected between the hours of 7:00am- 9:00am when hospital activities are high. The mean concentrations of heavy metals (Pb, Fe, Mn, Cr, and Cd) were determined in the samples. Atomic Absorption Spectrometry was used for the heavy metals analysis after digestion using standard method. The result showed the order of relative abundance as Fe> Pb> Mn> Cr> Cd. Analysis of variance with t-test indicated no significant difference for all the metal level within the study area except for iron. The levels of the metals analyzed in all the sources and food crops were within WHO tolerable limits. Therefore, the contamination of the receiving environment (soil, water, food crops) due to the discharged from the hospital dumpsite, and incinerator could be hazardous to human health over time.

Author(s): Sunday M and Agbaji E. B.

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