Heavy metal contamination of cassava (Manihot esculentum) grown on quarry soils in Umunneochi Abia state and its health implications


  • Chinedu Emeka Ihejirika Federal University of Technology, Owerri
  • Evans Chibuzo Ndubuisi Federal University of Technology, Owerri
  • John Didacus Njoku Federal University of Technology, Owerri
  • Enos Ihediohamma Emereibeole Federal University of Technology, Owerri
  • Tochi Ezechi Ebe Federal University of Technology, Owerri
  • Roseline Feechi Njoku-Tony Federal University of Technology, Owerri
  • Onyenonachi Charity Ihejirika Federal University of Technology, Owerri
  • Ejeagba Okorie Imo Federal University of Technology, Owerri
  • Ikenna Ndubuisi Nwachukwu Federal University of Technology, Owerri
  • Etienne Chukwuma Chinakwe Federal University of Technology, Owerri
  • Chijioke Ndukwe Uyo Federal University of Technology, Owerri
  • Chinomso Eric Ezikeudu Federal University of Technology, Owerri
  • Nwaogwugwu Ngozi Ursula Federal University of Technology, Owerri




Contamination of agricultural soils by quarry activities is posing serious challenges food security in greater parts of the Sub-Saharan Africa. This study determined the heavy metals in soils and cassava (Manihot esculentum) tubers obtained from three different quarry sites in Umunneochi, Abia State Nigeria. Samples of soil and cassava tubers were collected in replicates following the direction of natural drainage, while control samples were obtained against the direction of natural drainage from the quarry pits. Soil and cassava tuber samples were collected and subjected to standard physicochemical analyses. Heavy metal concentration in the quarry soil and cassava tubers varied significantly from the control except for Cd (mg/kg) at P<0.05. All heavy metals identified in the soil were also present in the cassava tuber samples, with Al concentration in the quarry soils correlating positively (0.977**) with that of cassava tubers. The quarry activities contributed to the heavy metal levels of quarry soils and responsible for the accumulation of heavy metals in cassava tubers that could lead to food insecurity and public health concerns. This further brings to fore the challenges and need to review and update mining and quarry regulations in Nigeria.


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How to Cite

Ihejirika, C. . E. ., Ndubuisi, E. C. ., Njoku, J. D. ., Emereibeole, E. I. ., Ebe, T. E. ., Njoku-Tony, R. F. ., Ihejirika, O. C. ., Imo, E. O. ., Nwachukwu, I. N. ., Chinakwe, E. C. ., Uyo, C. N. ., Ezikeudu, C. E. ., & Ursula, N. N. . (2021). Heavy metal contamination of cassava (Manihot esculentum) grown on quarry soils in Umunneochi Abia state and its health implications. EQA - International Journal of Environmental Quality, 45, 1–9. https://doi.org/10.6092/issn.2281-4485/12563