The Impact of Galena Mining in North-Eastern Nigeria on Nearby Food Crops

Main Article Content

G. G. Yebpella
A. M. Magomya
R. Odoh
N. H. Baba
J. Yakubu


Aims: To investigate and evaluate trace elements concentration in soils and bioaccumulation on food crops grown on agricultural fields around galena mine area, Wukari, north eastern Nigeria.

Study Design: The studied area is situated in the northwestern part of Wukari Local Government Area of Taraba State, North-East Nigeria. The hydrology of the area is conducive for the cultivation of crops and fresh water for fishing. The soils and food crops samples were collected in the month of May, 2018.

Methodology: Edible parts of plants such as leaf, stem and seed were collected from Soybeans (Glycine max), Guinea corn (Sorghum bicolor), Millet (Penniselum typhoides), Spinach (Amaranthus) and Tomato (Lycosipinus esculentum). A 1.00 g of the finely ground soil samples were digested with 10 mL of aqua regia (a mixture of 1:3 HNO3/HCl v/v) at 70°C on hot plate for 3 hours in a fume hood and 1.00 g of each sieved plant samples were digested with 10 mL mixture of HNO3: HCIO4 in the ratio 5:1 at 90°C for 30 minutes in a fume cupboard.

Results: The concentrations (µg/g DW) of the trace elements in soil are in the order Mn > Fe > Se > Pb > Cr > Cu > Al > As. The bio-accumulation of trace elements in all food crops were in the range: Se (0.250 – 20.88 µg/g DW), Al (0.250 – 0.980 µg/g DW), As (0.070 – 0.620 µg/g DW) and Pb (0.020 – 0.090 µg/g DW). Cr, Cu, Pb, Mn concentrations in food crops were above FAO/WHO permissible limits of 2.30, 40.0, 0.30, 500 µg/g DW respectively.

Conclusion: The Health Risk Index of As, Cr and Fe in spinach and Guinea corn were > 1. The study revealed that food crops grown on farmlands around mining areas are not safe for consumption.

Bioaccumulation, concentration, grains, vegetable, soil, trace elements.

Article Details

How to Cite
Yebpella, G. G., Magomya, A. M., Odoh, R., Baba, N. H., & Yakubu, J. (2020). The Impact of Galena Mining in North-Eastern Nigeria on Nearby Food Crops. Asian Journal of Chemical Sciences, 8(1), 1-14.
Original Research Article


Yaya Liang, Xiaoyun Y, Zhi D, Qin W, Houmei L, Jie T. Heavy metal contamination and health risk assessment in the vicinity of a tailing pond in guangdong, China. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 2017;14:1557.

DOI: 10.3390/ijerph14121557

Samuel TA, Samuel JC, Felix JA, Abudu BD, Zita NA. Health risk assessment and heavy metal contamination levels in vegetables from Tamale Metropolis, Ghana. International Journal of Food Contamination. 2018;5(5):1-2.


Amari T, Ghnaya T, Abdelly C, Nickel. Cadmium and lead phytotoxicity and potential of halophytic plants in heavy metal extraction. S. Afr. J. Bot. 2017; 111:99–110. Available:

Neha G, Krishna KY, Vinit K, Sandeep K, Richard PC, Amit K. Trace elements in soil-vegetables interface: Translocation, bioaccumulation, toxicity and amelioration. Science of the Total Environment. 2018; 651:2927–2942. Available:

Yebpella GG, Magomya AM, Yerima EA, Odoh R. Distribution of heavy metal levels in stream water and sediment around Arufu community in Wukari, Nigeria. FUW Trends in Science & Technology Journal. 2017;2(2):733 – 736.

Ahirwar NK, Singh R, Gupta PK, Bacterial approaches for reclamation of chromium (VI) polluted soil. Int. J. Pure App. Biosci. 2018;6(2):782-792.


Yebpella GG, Magomya AM, Udiba UU, Gandu I, Amana SM, Ugboaja VC, Umana NI. Assessment of Cd, Cu, Mn, and Zn levels in soil, water and vegetables grown in irrigated farms along River Kubani, Zaria, Nigeria. Journal of Applied Environmental and Biological Sciences. 2011;1(5):84-89.

Antonio GC, Antonio A. Chemical processes affecting the mobility of heavy metals and metalloids in soil environment. Springer. 2016;2(1):15-27.

Okoye COB, Odo IS, Odika IM. Heavy metals content of grains commonly sold in markets in South-East, Nigeria. Plant Production Research Journal. 2009;13:4-7.

Hikon BN, Egah GO, Ngantem GS, Bwede DD. Bioavailability and plants uptake of selected heavy metals (Pb, Zn, Cr, Cd, Ni, As and Hg) in akwana mining sites and environs, wukari, Taraba State. Nigeria. International Journal of Modern Chemistry, 2018;10(2):154-171.

Ng CC, Motior MR, Amru NB, Mhd RA. Heavy metals phyto-assessment in commonly grown vegetables: water spinach (I. aquatica) and okra (A. esculentus). Springer Plus, 2016;5:469.

DOI: 10.1186/s40064-016-2125-5

Ghosh M, Singh SP. A review of phytoremediation of heavy metals and utilization of it’s by products. Applied Ecology and Environmental Research. 2005;3(1):1 – 18.

Chary NS, Kamala CT, Raj DSS. Assessing risk of heavy metals from consuming food grown on sewage irrigated soils and food chain transfer. Ecotoxicol Environ, Safety. 2008;69:513–524.

Ftsum G, Abraha G. Health risk assessment of heavy metals via consumption of spinach vegetable grown in Elalla River. Bull. Chem. Soc. Ethiop. 2018;32(1):65-75. [ISSN: 1011-3924]


Jan FA, Ishaq M, Khan S, Ihsanullah I, Ahmad I, Shakirullah M. A comparative study of human health risks via consumption of food crops grown on wastewater irrigated soil (Peshawar) and relatively clean water irrigated soil (lower Dir). J. Hazard. Mater, 2010;179:612–621.

US-EPA IRIS. United States, environmental protection agency, Integrated Risk Information System; 2006.


WHO/FAO. Codex alimentarius commission. Food additives and contaminants. Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme, ALINORM 10/12A; 2001. achemistry/introTofertilizers.pdf.

Aremu MO, Atolaiye BO, Labaran L. Environmental implication of metal concentrations in soil, plant foods and pond in area around the derelict udege mines of Nasarawa State, Nigeria. Bull. Chem. Soc. Ethiop. 2010;24(3):351-360.

[ISSN: 1011-3924]

Zhou H, Yang W, Zhou X, Liu L, Gu J, Wang W, Zou J, Tian T, Peng P, Liao B. Accumulation of heavy metals in vegetable species planted in contaminated soils and the health risk assessment. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health. 2016;13:289

Subba KR, Sivanandha CR, Gopireddy VSR. Bioaccumulation of trace metals in selected vegetable crops around tummalapalle uranium mine in kadapa district, Andhra Pradesh. Orient. J. Chem. 2018;34(2):1078-1090.

Ashita S, Jatinder KK, Avinash KN. Heavy metals in vegetables: screening health risks involved in cultivation along wastewater drain and irrigating with wastewater. Springer Plus. 2018;5(488):2-16.

DOI: 10.1186/s40064-016-2129-1

Ab LW, Anjum A, Jawed AU. Lead Toxicity: A Review. Interdiscip Toxicol. 2015;8(2):55–64.

DOI: 10.1515/intox-2015-0009

Stancy SDO. Lead poisoning in Children and Adults. A medically Review; 2018.

Slobodanka P, Danijela A, Neda M-D. Heavy Metals accumulation in vegetable species and health risk assessment in Serbia. Environ Monit Assess. 2018; 190:459.

DOI: 10.1007/s10661-018-6743-y

Sharma MSR, Raju NS. Correlation of heavy metal contamination with soil properties of industrial areas of Mysore, Karnataka, India by cluster analysis, Int Res J Environ Sci. 2013;2(10):22–27.

Maria L. de SS, Godofredo CV, Anderson RT. Heavy metals toxicity in rice and soybean plants cultivated in contaminated soil. Soil Science and Nutrition. 2014;61 (2):34-45. Available:http//

Fan Y, Li H, Xue Z, Zhang Q, Cheng F. Accumulation characteristics and potential risk of heavy metals in soil-vegetable system under greenhouse cultivation condition in Northern China. Ecol. Eng. 2017;102:367-373. Available:

Abba A, Ibrahim S. Bioaccumulation of heavy metals in Amaranthus Sp. L Sold At Vegetable Farms In Katsina Metropolis. Science World Journal. 2017;12(1):1–3.

Sotiris S, Constantina N, Constantina T, Ioannis Z. The Bioaccumulation and physiological effects of heavy metals in carrots, onions and potatoes and dietary implications for cr and ni: A review. Journal of Food Science. 2014;79(5):4–16

Chabukdhara M, Munjal A, Nema AK, Gupta SK, Kaushal RK. Heavy metal contamination in vegetables grown around peri-urban and urban-industrial clusters in Ghaziabad, India. Hum. Ecol. Risk. Assess. 2016;22:736–752.

USEPA. Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), United States Environmental Protection; 2010.


(Accessed on 4 May 2016)

Adedokun AH, Njoku KL, Akinola MO, Adesuyi AA, Jolaoso AO. Potential human health risk assessment of heavy metals intake via consumption of some leafy vegetables obtained from four market in lagos metropolis, Nigeria. J. Appl. Sci. Environ. Manage. 2016;20(3): 530-539.


Arbind Seema, Vipin K. Risk assessment of heavy metals via consumption of contaminated vegetables collected from different agricultural fields and market sites. Advances in Biochemistry. 2017;5 (3):47-56.

DOI: 10.11648/j.ab.20170503.13

Kidu M, Gebrekidan A, Hadera A, Weldegebriel Y. Assessment of the distribution and their health risk of trace metals in Tsaeda Agam River, Mekelle City, Tigray, Northern Ethiopia. J. Environ. Anal. Toxicol. 2015;5 (283).

DOI: 10.4172/2161-0525.1000283

Mohammed HM. Using stripping voltammetry to determine heavy metals in cooking spices used in Iraq. Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2016;25(5):2057-2070.

Tsafe AI,l Hassan LG, Sahabi DM, Alhassan Y, Bala BM. Evaluation of heavy metals uptake and risk assessment of vegetables grown in yargalma of northern Nigeria. Journal of Basic and Applied Science Research. 2012;2(7): 6708-6714.