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Metal pollution and its distribution pattern in the road dust of Karachi, Pakistan

Jawed Iqbal, Seema Jilani

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J. Bio. Env. Sci.6(2), 215-224, February 2015

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Abstract

Heavy metals are considered as one of hazardous pollutants in natural environment due to their toxicity, persistence, risk to human, and a long term damage to the environment. The main objective of the present study was to determine the possible sources, distribution pattern and the levels of heavy metals (Pb, Cd, Cu, Zn, Cr and Ni) along the major roadside of Karachi soils. In order to accomplish this task, 56 dust samples collected from the three main zones (residential, industrial and commercial) were analyzed using atomic absorption spectrophotometer. The ranges of heavy metal concentrations in the study area were 16.97-351, 2.9-4.6, 27-892, 79-689, 41-97, 26-63 mg/kg dry soil for Pb, Cd, Cu, Zn, Cr and Ni respectively. In the commercial zone significantly high concentration of Pb, Cu and Zn were observed which is mainly related to vehicle emissions, heavy traffic and commercial activities. Overall, the degree of heavy metals contamination in the Karachi soil was in following ascending order, KC >KI>KR. The study findings may provide scientific information related to heavy metal pollution in Karachi soil as it is barely monitored. Further, it may help policy makers to develop/establish an effective control strategy.

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Metal pollution and its distribution pattern in the road dust of Karachi, Pakistan

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