Assessment of heavy metal exposure around auto body refinishing shops
Significant number of occupations are present in our society which involves metal pollution. These small operational occupations which are always neglected by governments and other occupational health services are another major factor of metal flow in urban soil. The local auto body refinishing shops are one of these occupations. Workers, soil, plants, air and all environments around these shops are continually exposed by their organic solvents, dust, noise and metal pigments. In the present study, 36 top soil samples including controls were collected from 26 different auto body refinishing shops of the metropolitan city, Karachi. The soil samples were digested by EPA method 3050. The metal contents Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb and Zn were analyzed by Atomic Absorption Spectrometery (AAS). The results showed that metal contents in soil samples around auto body shops were mainly contaminated due to the exposure of metal pigments. The silent increase in metal concentration in soil samples may contribute to the accumulation of heavy metals in humans and livestocks through soils and plants which will grow in these areas. The statistical methods of analysis were also applied to find out the t-values, p-values and correlation parameters. The Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was also applied to increase the significance of results.
Keywords: Metal pollution, occupational health services, heavy metals, livestock