The concentrations of six heavy metals (HMs) and 16 US EPA priority polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in sediment samples of the confluence of rivers Niger and Benue were investigated. The ecological risk assessment of the contaminants was carried out. The results showed that the sediment samples were heavily polluted with iron and moderately polluted with Cd while other metals posed no pollution problem when compared with USEPA sediment quality guidelines. Only six out of the 16 priority PAHs were detected in the samples, and source apportionment of the PAHs indicated that they are of pyrogenic origin. The ∑PAHs in the samples were lower than many of similar studies and were of no pollution risk. The ecological risk assessment result of the heavy metals showed that the sediments were of considerable risk due majorly to Cd levels. The HM concentration results statistically showed significant difference between seasons at probability value (P < .05). Data analysis by PCA classified the metals into three different components according to sources. The levels of HMS and PAHs detected in the sediments were correlated for source identification, and the correlation showed that the majority of the pollutants were mainly from anthropogenic sources. There is increasing level of anthropogenic activities at the vicinity of the confluence due to urbanization which may call for periodic monitoring of the sediment quality.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 27, 2017
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