This investigation was carried out to assess the heavy metal concentrations and health risks associated with automobile workshops in Owerri Metropolis. Using an Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer, soil samples from Orji Mechanic Village (OMV), Naze Mechanic Village (NMV), New Market Automobile Workshops (NMAV), Matrix Mechanic Yard (MMY) and Alvan Mechanic Yard (AMY) were assayed for Silver (Ag), Cobalt (Co), Nickel (Ni), Mercury (Hg), Lead (Pb), Arsenic (As), Chromium (Cr) and Cadmium (Cd) concentrations. The result showed that at majority of the sites, the Ag, Pb, As, and Cd levels exceeded their baseline values, whereas the Ni and Co levels were equivalent to those of their baselines, at some sites. Soil samples at MMY were the most acidic while that of NMAV was the most alkaline. The pollution models indicated very high Ag contamination at OMV, NMV, and NMAV while all the sites showed very high contamination of Pb and Cd, and no Co, Ni, Hg, and Cr pollution was recorded for all the sites as shown by their Igeo values. The result for the enrichment factor showed anthropogenic sources of deposition of these heavy metals at all the sites. From the risk assessment models applied, none of the contaminated sites showed an estimated daily intake, hazard quotient, and total hazard index beyond the reference values, with Pb found to possess the greatest potentials of toxicity. This study has shown the necessity to periodically monitor and apply measures that can halt the environmental decay, occurring at the automobile workshops.
Uche C. Njoku, Benjamin A. Amadi, Peter U. Amadi, Onyebuchi E. Ezendiokwere and Idongesit E. Archibong
The effect of aqueous matured stem extract of Opuntia dillenii on selected biochemical parameters in Male Wistar rats was explored. Standard analytical methods were applied. Forty Wistar rats (80-100g) were used in the animal studies, separated into four groups. The control group was solely administered normal feed and saline, group I was administered 100mgkg−1 of the extract, group II received 300mgkg−1 of the extract and group III received 500 mg/kg−1 of the extract. A significant increase (p<0.05) in the activities of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and alkaline phosphatase was observed in group II and III rats, as compared with the controls. A significant decrease in urea and creatinine concentrations was found only in group III rats against the controls. Also, a significant (p<0.05) decrease in triglyceride, total cholesterol, and low density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol was seen in group II and group III rats when compared with the control. The hematological evaluation revealed a significant (p<0.05) decrease in red blood cell and hemoglobin levels in group III rats when compared with the control. The findings showed both beneficial and toxicological effects of the plant. Hence, for optimal therapeutic benefits, a further toxicological survey could still be carried out perhaps at higher doses.