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Appraisal of Heavy Metal Contents in Commercial Inorganic Fertilizers Blended and Marketed in Nigeria

DOI: 10.5923/j.chemistry.20120204.07

Keywords: Inorganic Fertilizers, Heavy Metals, Nigeria

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Abstract:

Human food chain toxicity has been shown to be influenced by application of inorganic fertilizers. Three samples of commercial inorganic fertilizers marketed in Nigeria were analysed for their heavy metal contents. The fertilizer samples used were N15P15K15 (CF1), N20P10K10 (CF2) and N27P13K13 (CF3). Molybdenum (Mo) levels were the highest and Vanadium (V), Arsenic (As), Mercury (Hg) and Silver (Ag) were not detected by our analytical method. The concentrations of Mo in the CF1 (2, 570.0 mg/kg), CF2 (2,3000.0 mg/kg) and CF3 (1,340.0 mg/kg), were above the maximum acceptable concentration (20mg/kg) while CF1 (0.129 mg/ha/yr) and CF2 (0.115 mg/ha/yr) were above the maximum annual metal addition to soil (0.079 mg/ha/yr), as established by Canadian standard for fertilizers. Only CF1 (5.805 kg/ha) was above long-term cumulative assessment of metal addition to soil (3.57 kg/ha). Other heavy metals detected were Magnesium(Mg), Iron(Fe), Nickel(Ni), Zinc(Zn), Cadmium(Cd), Manganese(Mn), Cupper(Cu), Cobalt(Co), Lead(Pb), Chromium(Cr) and Boron(B). Cd and Pb mean concentrations of the fertilizer samples examined ranged from 2.84 to 11.32 mg/kg and 7.43 to 9.02 mg/kg respectively. Cd followed significantly (p<0.05) with phosphate percentage by weight of the inorganic fertilizers. Though the concentrations of these non-nutrient/toxic metals were below the recommended levels, it is important to encourage manufacturers to indicate their concentrations on the fertilizer labels in view of their health implications.

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