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Heavy Metal Contents of Maize (Zea mays L.) Grown in Soil Contaminated with Crude Oil

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Author(s): O.M. Agbogidi | P.G. Eruotor | S.O. Akparobi | G.U. Nnaji

Journal: International Journal of Botany
ISSN 1811-9700

Volume: 3;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 385;
Date: 2007;
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Keywords: Crude oil | soil contamination | heavy metal contents | maize

ABSTRACT
This study investigated the effects of soil contaminated with crude oil on the heavy metal contents of maize. The study was conducted in Asaba and Ozoro locations of Delta State. Open-pollinated AMATZBR w maize variety was used. The experiment was laid out in a split-plot design replicated four times. Five crude oil concentrations (0, 5.2, 10.4, 20.8 and 41.6 mL) applied five weeks after planting (5 WAP) constituted treatments. The study locations formed the main plots and the oil levels, the sub-plots Maize grain was harvested at 14 WAP, shelled and analysed for heavy metal contents. Soil physical properties were also analysed from composite soil samples. The results showed that oil treatment had no significant (p≥0.05) effects on soil physical properties. Significant (p≤0.05) differences were, however, observed in the heavy metal contents (including iron, zinc, chromium and manganese) of crude oil contaminated soils and the maize seeds harvested there when compared with those harvested from the uncontaminated sub-plots. The present study has demonstrated that crude oil contamination of soil can lead to a gradual heavy metal build-up which, when absorbed are capable of making the maize cobs and leaves potentially toxic and harmful to man and livestock if consumed as food.
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