Main Article Content



This research work assessed the effects of quarrying activities on soil quality and nutritional composition of fluted pumpkin (Telferia occidentalis) and smooth pigweed (Amaranthus hybridus). Soil and vegetable samples were collected from three quarry and rock crushing sites. Soil samples were analyzed for various physicochemical parameters, soil nutrients and metals (NO3, PO4, Nitrate, Sulphate, Cu, Zn, Cr, Ni, Pb, Cd, Mg, Fe, Ca, Mn, K, Na) using standard analytical methods. Proximate composition and trace metal content of Telferia occidentalis and Amaranthus hybridus were also evaluated using Atomic Absorption Spectrophometer (ASS). Results obtained revealed deterioration of soil quality near the quarries, with significantly high levels of Cu, Zn, Ni, Pb, Cd, Fe and Mn recorded. In general, the mean concentration of heavy metals in soils from the rock quarries decreased in the order of: Fe>Mn>Cr>Pb>Cu>Ni>Zn>Cd. Values for Iron (Fe) in the soil samples ranged between 1667.36 ± 1.15 mg/kg in Quarry 1, 1635.03 ± 1.15 mg/kg in Quarry 2 and 1734.79 ± 11.55 mg/kg in Quarry 3. The average concentrations of Nickel (Ni) in soil samples collected from Quarries 1, 2 and 3 were 9.22 ± 0.06, 8.68 ± 0.08 and 7.53 ± 0.12 respectively. Soil Ni content was found to be higher than the WHO (2017) recommended limit of <1 mg/kg. Soil levels of TOC, NO3, PO4, Nitrate, Mg, Ca, K and Na were below the guidelines for maximum limit in soils. Proximate analysis of the vegetables cultivated in the quarry environs showed high contents of protein and dietary fibre. While the concentration of Ni was within permissible limit in the vegetables, Cr values exceeded recommended levels. Findings from this study indicate that residents of the quarry areas are exposed to contaminated soil and health risks associated with consumption of accumulated toxic contaminants in edible vegetables.

Quarrying, soil quality, pollutants, heavy metals, vegetables, nutrient composition, health risk

Article Details

How to Cite
Original Research Article


The Institute of Quarrying. What is Quarrying?; 2021.

Ogbonna CE, Ugbogu AE, Otuu FC, Mbaogu NE, Johnson AR. Influence of rock quarrying activities on the physiochemical characteristics of selected edible fruit Trees in Uturu, Abia State, Nigeria. Applied Ecology and Environmental Sciences. 2017;5(1):1-9.

Nartey VK, Nano JN, Klake RK. Effects of quarry activities on some selected communities in the lower manya krobo District of the Eastern Region of Ghana. Atmospheric and Climate Sciences. 2012;2(3):362–372.

Banez J, Mae Ajaon S, Bilolo JR, Dailyn JM. Quarrying and Its Environmental Effects; 2010.


Saha DC, Padhy PK. Effects of Stone Crushing Industry on Shorea robusta and Madhuca indica Foliage in Lalpahari Forest. Atmospheric Pollution Research. 2011;2:463-476.

Akinyele IO, Osibanjo O. Levels of some trace elements in hospital diets, Food Chemistry. 1982;8(4):247–251.

Fedra K, Winkelbauer L, Pantulu VR. Systems for environmental screening. An application in the lower Mekong Basin. International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. A-236l Laxenburg, Austria. 2005;169.

Omosanya KO, Ajibade OM. Environmental impact of quarrying on Otere Village, Odede, South Western Nigeria. Ozean; Journal of Applied Sciences. 2010;4(1):75-82.

Vincent KN, Joseph NN, Raphael KK. Effect of quarry activities on some selected communities in the Lower Mangakrobo District of Eastern Region of Ghana. Atmospheric and Climatic Science. 2009;2:365-372.

AOAC. Official methods of analysis. Association of Official Analytical Chemists, Arlington, USA; 1990.

Pickering KT, Owen LA. Water resources and pollution. University of Cincinnati, New York; 1997.

Harrop DO, Mumby K, Pepper B, Nolan J. Heavy metal levels in the near vicinity to roads in a north London brough. Sci Total Environ. 1990;93:543-546.

Hamza SB, Habli S, Said NM, Bournot H, Le Palec G. Simulation of pollutant dispersion of a free surface flow in coastal water. Ocean Engineering. 2015;108:81-97.

Ogbonna CE, Otuu FC, Ugbogu OC, Nwaugo VO, Ugbogu AE. Public health implication of heavy metal contamination of plants growing in the lead zinc mining area of Ishiagu, Nigeria. International Journal of Biodiversity and Environmental Science. 2015;7:76-86.

Agrawal J, Sherameti I, Varma A. Detoxification of heavy metals: State of art. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg, Germany; 2011.

Chaulya SK, Chakraborty MK, Singh RS. Air pollution modelling for a proposed limestone quarry. Water Air Soil Pollut. 2001;126:171-191.

Aneke BC. The water resources of the Agwu shale group, Enugu State, Southeastern Nigerian. Unpublished M.Sc Thesis Department of Geology. University of Nigeria, Nsukka; 2007.

Umeji AC. The Geology and Mineral Resources of Igboland. In Ofomata G.EK A survey of the Igbo Nation. AFP (Africana First Publisher, Onitsha; 2002.

Ugwueze VI. The hydrology of Nkporo formation Isi-Uzo local government area and Environs, Enugu State. Unpublished M.Sc. Thesis Department of Geology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka; 2000.

Hach. SIW-1 Soil and Irrigation Water Manual; 1992.

APHA. Standard methods for examination of water and wastewater, 22nd edn. American Public Health Association, Washington; 2012.

Zhou J, Qiang L, Song D, Pan X, Zeng X. Method development and application for analysis of heavy metals in Soils by Microwave-assisted Digestion and Extraction. Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology (ICBEB); 2012.

Sáez-Plaza P, José Navas M, Wybraniec S, Michałowski T, Asuero AG. An Overview of the Kjeldahl Method of Nitrogen Determination. Part II. Sample preparation, working scale, instrumental finish, and Quality Control. Critical Reviews in Analytical Chemistry. 2013;43(4).

Schumacher BA. Methods for the determination of Total Organic Carbon (TOC) in Soils and Sediments, United States Environmental Protection Agency.


AOAC. Official methods of analysis. 21st Edition, Association of official analytical chemists. Washington D. C. USA; 1999.

Pearson D. The chemical analysis of foods, Longman Group Ltd. Harlow, U.K; 1976.

United States Environmental Protection Agency. Method 3050B. Acid digestion of sediments, sludges, and soils; United States Environmental Protection Agency: United States; 1996.

FAO/WHO. Joint FAO/WHO food standards programme codex committee on contaminants in f oods. Working document for information and use in discussions related to contaminants and toxins in the Gsctff. Fifth Session. Hague, The Netherlands. 2011;90.

National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA). National Environmental (Surface and Groundwater Quality Control) Regulations- Effluent discharges, irrigation and reuse standards. Federal Republic of Nigeria Official]. 2011;98(49).

Frey PA, Reed GH. The Ubiquity of Iron. ACS Chem. Biol. 2012;7(9): 1477–1481.

USDA (United State Department of Agriculture). National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. Release 22. Nutrient data Laboratory; 2009.


World Health Organisation/European Union. CINDI dietary guide. Denmark: WHO Regional Office for Europe, Copenhagen; 2000.

Osuocha KU, Chukwu EC, Ugbogu EA, Atasie OC, Ogbonna CE. Effects of quarry mining activities on the Nutritional Composition of Edible Vegetables in Ishiagu, Ebonyi State, Nigeria. Journal of Experimental Biology and Agricultural Sciences. Journal of Experimental Biology and Agricultural Sciences. 2016;4(5).

Akubugwo EI, Ude VC, Uhegbu FO, Ugbogu O. Physicochemical properties and heavy metal content of selected water sources in Ishiagu, Ebonyi State- Nigeria. Journal of Biodiversity and Environmental Sciences. 2012;2:21-27.

Onwuemesi FE, Ajiwe VIE, Okoye AC, Nnodu VC, Onuba L. Effect of lead and zinc mining activities on ground water quality in Ishiagu, EbonyiState, Nigeria. Journal of International Environmental Applications and Science. 2011;6:600- 605.

Ojo FO, Wokhe TB, Chima MP. Assessment of heavy metal pollution in soils from farms in the vicinity of Durumi Quarry Site in Mpape, Abuja Nigeria. Curr. World Environ. 2018;13(3).

Nkwunonwo UC, Odika PO, Onyia NI. A Review of the health implications of heavy metals in food chain in Nigeria, The Scientific World Journal. 2020;2020:Article ID 6594109.

Shahid M, Dumat C, Pourrut B, Abbas G, Shahid N, Pinelli E. Role of Metal Speciation in Lead Induced Oxidative Stressto Vicia faba Roots. Russian Journal of Plant Physiology. 2015;62(4):448–454.

Egesi N. Impacts of quarrying activities on human health in Boki Area Cross River State Nigeria. Journal of Geography, Environment and Earth Science International. 2021;25(1):1-13.

Ochelebe I, Kudamnya EA, Nkebem GE. An assessment of heavy metals concentration in water around quarries and barite mine sites in part of central cross River State, Southeastern Nigeria. Global Journal of Geological Sciences. 2020;18:89-95.

Addis W, Abebaw A. Determination of heavy metal concentration in soils used for cultivation of Allium sativum L. (garlic) in East Gojjam Zone, Amhara Region, Ethiopia. Cogent Chemistry. 2017;3:(1): 1419422.

Abara PN, Udebuani AC, Okeke IH, Adjeroh LN. Risk assessment of heavy metals in vegetables grown around Quarry Sites in Okigwe, Southeastern Nigeria. INOSR Scientific Research. 2019; 5(1):59-65.

Zamor PW, Jesu JD, Sia G, Ragragio E, Su MLS, Villanueva S. Assessing lead concentrations in leafy vegetables in selected private markets in Metro Manila, Philippines. Journal of Applied Technology in Environmental Sanitation. 2012;2(3): 175–178.

Abbas M, Parveen Z, Iqbal M, Riazuddin Iqbal S, Ahmed M, Bhutto R. Monitoring of Toxic Metals (Cadmium, Lead, Arsenic and Mercury) in Vegetables of Sindh, Pakistan. Kathmandu University Journal of Science, Engineering and Technology. 2010;6(2):60-65.

Kacholi DS, Sahu M. Levels and health risk assessment of heavy metals in Soil, Water, and Vegetables of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, J. Chem; 2018.

Rahman MM, Asaduzzaman M, Naidu R. Consumption of as and Other Elements from Vegetables and Drinking Water from As-contaminated Area of Bangladesh, J. Hazard Mat. 2013;262:1056-63.

Islam R, Kumar S, Karmoker J, Sorowar S, Rahman A, Sarkar T, Biswas N. Heavy Metals in Common Edible Vegetables of Industrial Area I Kushtia, Bangladesh: A Health Risk Study, Environ. Sci. Ind. J. 2017; 13(5):150.

Hashmi DR, Khan FA, Shaikh GH, Usmani TH. Determination of trace metals in the vegetables produced from Local Market of Karachi City by Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry, J. Chem. Soc. Pak. 2005;27(4).

Gorell J, Jonson C and Rybicki BC. Occupational exposure to metals as risk factors for Parkinson’s disease, Neurol. 1997;48(3):650-8.

Aleksandra DC, Blaszczyk U. The impact of nickel on human health, J. Elementol. 2008;13(4):685-696.

Adesuyi AA, Njoku KL, Akinola MO. Assessment of heavy metals pollution in soils and vegetation around selected industries in Lagos State, Nigeria. Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection. 2015;3:11-19.

Patlolla AK, Barnes C, Yedjou C, Velma VR, Tchounwou PB. Oxidative stress, DNA damage and antioxidant enzyme activity induced by hexavalent chromium in Sprague-Dawley rats. Environ. Toxicol. 2009;24:66-73.

Chandravadana MV, Vekateshwarlu G, Bujji Babu CS, Roy TK, Shivashankara KS, Pandey M, et al. Volatile flavour components of dry milky mushrooms (Calocybe indica). Flavour and Fragrance Journal. 2005;20(6):715-717.

Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary reference intake: Elements. Institute of Medicine. National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C.; 2001.

Adejumo TO, Awesanya OB. Proximate and mineral composition of four edible mushroom species from South Western Nigeria. Afr. J. Biotechnol. 2005;4:1084-1088.

Sivrikaya H, Bacak L, Saracbasi A, Toroglu I, Eroglu H. Trace elements in Pleurotus sajorcaju cultivated on chemithermomechanical pulp for bio-bleaching. Food Chemistry. 2002; 79:173-176.