Metal works process is one of the most important anthropogenic sources of heavy metal emissions into environment, consequently posing a risk to human health through inhalations, ingestion and dermal contact. This study assessed the total levels of Al, Si, Zn, Fe, Pb and Cd in soils around metal works, their potential risk to the environment and health. The study provides baseline of the determine analytes in the under review as well as the potential risk associated with them. Soil quality parameters reveals the soil pH 8.78±0.30 as strongly alkaline (8.50 – 9.00), organic matter content (2.15±0.42%) and effective cation exchange capacity (ECEC) (18.56 cmol/kg) been moderate. The heavy metals and metalloid levels were in the order: Fe (20647 mg/kg) > Al (3940.90 mg/kg) > Zn (373.03 mg/kg) > Pb (120.2 mg/kg) > Si (45.54 mg/kg) > Cd (6.37 mg/kg) respectively where the geo-accumulation indices of Zn (1.73), Pb (2.52) and Cd (5.27) showed moderate contamination with respect to zinc; moderate to strong contamination wit.h respect to lead and strong to extreme contamination with respect to cadmium. Similarly, contamination factor of Zn (4.97) reveals considerable contamination with zinc likewise the contamination factors of Pb (8.58) and Cd (57.9) implied very high contamination by Pb and Cd. Cancer Risk (CR) of Pb and Cd in adults were all greater than the value found for children in all respect either via ingestion, inhalation or dermal route of exposures. The CRderm of both Cd and Pb exceeded the carcinogenic risk limit of 1.0×10-4 hence indicates a lifetime cancer risk to both children and adults. Hence, the soil is recommended for cleanup in order to guaranty sound health and ecological sustainability with respect to the contaminants.
Keywords: Metal works, heavy metals, contamination, environment, potential health risk