Tanzania Journal of Science

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Assessment of concentrations of trace and toxic heavy metals in soil and vegetables grown in the vicinity of Manyoni uranium deposit in Tanzania

FA Kapile, IN Makundi


This study reports on determination of concentrations of trace and toxic heavy metals in soil and vegetables grown near of Manyoni uranium deposit. Soil and vegetable samples were collected from five sites namely Mitoo Mbuga, farming area, Miyomboni, Tambukareli and near water pump. The concentrations of heavy metals in soil and edible vegetables samples were analyzed using Energy Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry (EDXRF).All vegetable samples were found to have higher concentrations (in μg/g) of trace elements such as Ni (67.3) in pea leaves, Cu (14.9) in pumpkin leaves, Fe (478.6), (200.5) and (337.1) in pea, pumpkin and spinach leaves respectively, than the maximum tolerable limits recommended by WHO/FAO. Mean concentration of Pb (1.6 μg/g) in pumpkin leaves collected from Miyomboni (area D) were observed to be higher than the safe limit of (0.3μg/g) set by Codex 2006. Toxic elements concentrations (in μg/g) such as Cd (10.4), Pb (23.2),Hg (4.1), Th (31.5) and U (23.9) were observed to be high in soil collected from Mitoo Mbuga and farming area. Therefore, vegetables in the vicinity of Manyoni uranium deposit can expose people to toxic elements which are detrimental to their health. A more detailed study involving other foodstuffs is needed to establish conclusive results.

Keywords: Soil, vegetables, Manyoni Uranium Deposit, Toxic Elements, EDXRF

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