Accumulation of lead, cadmium and sulphur in pasture grasses growing along traffic highway and industrial layout in south eastern Nigeria
Possible uptake of lead, cadmium and sulphur by ruminants from three pasture grasses, Penisetum purpureum, Panicum repens and Cynodon dactylon growing along traffic highway and industrial estates in Akwa lbom State was investigated. Concentrations of the heavy metals and sulphur in the grasses were determined by atomic absorption spectroscopy and colorimetric methods respectively. P. repens from the traffic highway contained the highest amounts of lead (56.5μg g-1 ) and sulphur (681 ppm dry weight) which were significantly (P < 0.05) higher than those from industrial layout (36.4μg - g-1 , Pb and 545 ppm sulphur respectively): The highest content of cadmium (1.6μg g-1 ) was obtained from P. repens and C. dactylon from the same location of the traffic highway. The concentrations of the contaminants in all the grasses from industrial layout and traffic highway were higher (P < 0.05) than those from arable farm land and rural village which made up the control treatment. The results provide reliable information on the possible dangers ruminant animals are exposed to by grazing forages along traffic highways and around industries.
Key words: Lead, Cadmium and Sulphur, accumulation, Forage grasses.