Back
 JACEN  Vol.3 No.2 , May 2014
Heavy Metal Pollution in Soil and Water in Some Selected Towns in Dunkwa-on-Offin District in the Central Region of Ghana as a Result of Small Scale Gold Mining
Abstract: Illegal small scale gold mining popularly called “Galamsey” in our local communities is on the increase. This has led to concerns about the level of environmental pollution resulting from these mining activities. This work was conducted to determine the level of heavy metal contamination in the environment due to the activities of the small scale miners. This paper discusses the concentrations of some selected heavy metals—Hg, Pb, and Cu which were measured in 14 sampling sites in Dunkwa-on-Offin in the Central Region of Ghana, known for these activities. The heavy metal concentrations have been investigated for soil and water samples in the selected towns and compared with the relevant guidelines of the Environmental Protection Agency. The concentration of heavy metals was measured by using AAS. In most locations, the concentration for the investigated heavy metals far exceeded the concentration admitted by the guidelines. The mean concentration of Lead was 95.13 mg/Kg for soil and 190.27 mg/L in water; Copper was 63.26 mg/Kg in soil and 75.92 mg/L in water while Mercury was 140.87 ug/Kg in soil and 211.31 mg/L in water. The mean recorded concentrations in the sensitive areas exceeded greatly. Hence the levels of heavy metal contamination have spread beyond control.
Cite this paper: Kpan, J. , Opoku, B. and Gloria, A. (2014) Heavy Metal Pollution in Soil and Water in Some Selected Towns in Dunkwa-on-Offin District in the Central Region of Ghana as a Result of Small Scale Gold Mining. Journal of Agricultural Chemistry and Environment, 3, 40-47. doi: 10.4236/jacen.2014.32006.
References

[1]   Agyemang, I. (2010) Population Dynamics and Health Hazards of Small Scale Mining Activity in the Bolgatanga and Talensi-Nabdam Districts of the Upper East Region of Ghana. Indian Journal of Science and Technology, 3.

[2]   Cobbina, S.J., Myilla, M. and Michael, K. (2013) Small Scale Gold Mining and Heavy Metal Pollution: Assessment of Drinking Water Sources in Datuku in the Talensi-Nabdam District. International Journal of Scientific & Technology Research, 2, 96.

[3]   Manu, A., Twumasi, Y.A. and Coleman, T.L. (2004) Application of Remote Sensing and GIS Technologies to Assess the Impact of Surface Mining at Tarkwa, Ghana. Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, IGARSS’04 Proceedings. IEEE Intrnational, 1, 572-574.

[4]   Obiri, S. (2007) Determination of Heavy Metals in Boreholes in Dumasi in the Wassa West. District of Western Region of the Republic of Ghana. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 130, 455-463.

[5]   Tom-Dery, D., Dagben, Z.J. and Cobbina, S.J. (2012) Effect of Illegal Small Scale Mining Operations on Vegaetation Cover of Arid Northern Ghana. Research Journal of Environmental and Earth Sciences, 4, 674-679.

[6]   Appiah, H. (1998) Organization of Small Scale Gold Mining Activities in Ghana. Journal of the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, November 1998.

[7]   Tetteh, S., Golow, A.A., Essumang, D.K. and Zugle, R. (2010) Levels of Mercury, Cadmium and Zinc in the Topsoil of Some Selected Towns in the Wassa West District of the Western Region of Ghana. Soil and Sediment Contamination: An International Journal, 19, 635-643.

[8]   Ezeh (2007) Environmental Significance of Heavy Metals Distribution. Ebonyi River Drainage System, Abakaliki and Ohaozara Areas, South Eastern Nigeria. Ph.D. Thesis, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

[9]   Nartey, V.K., Klate, R.K., Hayford, E.K., Doamekpor, L.K. and Appoh, R.K. (2011) Assessment of Mercury Pollution in Rivers and Streams around Artisanal Gold Mining Areas of the Birim North District of Ghana. Journal of Environmental Protection, 2, 1227-1239.

[10]   Olade (2009) Dispersion of Cd, Pb and Zn in Soils and Sediments of a Humid Tropical Ecosystem in Nigeria. In: Hutchinson, T.C., Ed., Lead, Mercury, Cadmium and Arsenic in the Environment, John Wiley and Sons, New York.

[11]   Office of Research and Development, US Environmental Protection Agency (1991) Methods for the Determination of Metals in Environmental Samples. Office of Research and Development, US Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, 293.

[12]   Perkin-Elmer (1993) Analytical Methods for Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry. Norwalk, Connecticut.

[13]   WHO (2006) Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality. 4th Edition, World Health Organization, Geneva.

[14]   Hug, M.M. (1989) The Economy of Ghana: The First 25 Years Since Independence. Macmillian Press Ltd., London, 153-155.

[15]   Akabzaa, T.M., Banoeng-Yakubo, B.K. and Seyire, J.S. (2005) Impact of Mining Activities on Water in the Vicinity of the Obuasi Mine. 79, 377-379.

[16]   Ezeh, H.N. and Chukwu, E.A. ( 2011) Small Scale Mining and Heavy Metals Pollution of Agricultural Soils: The Case of Ishiagu Mining District, South Eastern Nigeria. Journal of Geology and Mining Research, 3, 87-104.

[17]   Kpan, J.D.A. (2008) Studies on Levels of Mercury, Zinc and Cadmium in Soils in the Vicinity of an Alluvial Goldmine at Dunkwa-on-Offin. Unpublished Thesis, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast.

 
 
Top