Preliminary assessment of trace metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the sediments

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Total concentrations of Cd, Cr, Co, Fe, Pb, Ni, Mn and Zn were determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometry in the surface sediments of Taylor Creek, Southern Nigeria. The most concentrated trace metals, ranging from 113.2 to 5160.7 mg/g-dry weights were Fe, Pb, Mn, Ni and Zn. There was no significant variation in sediment-associated metal levels (P>0.05). The Metal Pollution Index (MPI) was highest at Agbia/Nedugo and is attributed to local contamination of the Creek. The concentrations of low molecular weight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were also detected and quantified in the sediments by capillary gas chromatography equipped with a flame ionization detector. The concentration levels of 178.1-1266.3 mg/g-wet weights were high for the PAHs. The results indicate that the pollutants, which are bio-accumulatable, could contribute to inferior biodiversity, and shifts in community composition from sensitive to tolerant taxa.

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