Accumulation of Heavy Metals in the Seeds of Zea mays L. from Crude Oil Impacted Soils in Kom-Kom, Rivers State, Nigeria

Main Article Content

I. M. Onyejekwe
L. C. Osuji
E. O. Nwaichi


This study assessed and modelled the accumulation of heavy metals in the seeds of Zea mays L. (maize) planted in a crude oil impacted soil. A total of thirteen soil samples were randomly collected. Five samples each were obtained from plot A (PA)and plot B (PB); the crude oil impacted plots. Three samples were obtained from plot C (PC); the control plot which was about 200 m away from the spill impacted area. All samples were analysed for Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon (TPH) and Heavy Metals [iron (Fe), lead (Pb), zinc (Zn), chromium (Cr) and vanadium (V)]. Maize was planted on each of the thirteen plots and the seeds upon harvest was analysed for heavy metals (Fe, Pb, Zn, Cr and V). The seed accumulation factors for each heavy metal was modelled using TPH as the independent variable. Aside the Zn regression model with R2 value of 0.399, other models performed well with R2 values of 0.994, 0.942, 0.974 and 0.964 for Fe, Pb, Cr and V respectively. TPH was able to model the seed parameters with relatively high model performance except for Zinc. This suggests that accumulation of some heavy metals in the seed of the Zea mays L. planted is dependent on TPH. These models can be useful in predicting accumulation of heavy metals in the seeds of Maize planted in a crude oil polluted soil.

Seed Accumulation Factor (SAF), regression model, Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon (TPH), heavy metals, zinc, contamination, soil, Kom-Kom.

Article Details

How to Cite
Onyejekwe, I. M., Osuji, L. C., & Nwaichi, E. O. (2019). Accumulation of Heavy Metals in the Seeds of Zea mays L. from Crude Oil Impacted Soils in Kom-Kom, Rivers State, Nigeria. Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, 25(3), 1-8.
Original Research Article


Michel J, Fingas M. Oil Spills: Causes, consequences, prevention, and countermeasures. In book: Fossil fuels, Researchgate. 2016;Chapter 7:159- 201.
DOI: 10.1142/9789814699983_0007

Ezeonu CS, Onwurah INE, Oje OA. Comprehensive perspectives in bioremediation of crude oil contaminated environments. Edited by Dr. Laura Romero-Zerón. Introduction to Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) processes and bioremediation of oil-contaminated sites. 2012;Chapter 6:143-184.
ISBN 978-953-51-0629-6

Beller M, Schoenmaker H, Huuskonen E. Pipeline inspection environmental protection through on-line inspection, proceeding of the NNPC seminar: Oil industry and the Nigerian Environment, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.1996;233-241.

Ogbonna JF, Amajuoyi CA. Physicochemical characteristics and microbial quality of an oil polluted site in Gokana, Rivers State. Journal of Applied Sciences & Environmental Management. 2009;13(3):99-103.

Kingston P. Long-term environmental impact of oil spills. Spill Science & Technology Bulletin. 2002;7:53-61.

Agbogidi OM, Eruotor PG, Akparobi SO. Effects of Time of Application of Crude Oil to Soil on the Growth of Maize (Zea mays L.). Research Journal of Environmental Toxicology. 2007;1:116-123.

Adam G, Duncan HJ. Influence of diesel fuel on seed germination. Environmental Pollution. 2002;120:363-370

EPC (Environmental Pollution Centers). Oil Spill Pollution; 2010.

Briggs L, Briggs C. Petroleum industry activities and human health. In prince E. Ndimele of the political ecology of oil and gas activities in the Nigerian Aquatic Ecosystem. 2018;143-147.

IITA. Annual report on maize production. International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan, Oyo State; 2001.

Osuji LC, Adesiyan SO, Obute GC. Post impact assessment of oil pollution in the Agbada west plain of Niger Delta Nigeria: Field reconnaissance and total extractable hydrocarbon content. Chemistry &. Biodiversity. 2004;1(10): 1569-1578.

Adami G, Cabras I, Predonzani S, Barbiei P, Reisenhofer E. Metal pollution assessment of surface sediments along a new gas pipeline in the Niger Delta (Nigeria). Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. 2007;125(1–3):291–299

Umoren IU, Udousoro II.Fractionation of Cd, Cr, Pb and Ni in roadside soils of Uyo, Niger Delta Region, Nigeria using the optimized BCR sequential extraction technique . Environmentalist. 2009;29(3): 280–286.

Adeniyi AA, Owoade OJ. Total petroleum hydrocarbons and trace heavy metals in roadside soils along the Lagos-badagry expressway, Nigeria. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. 2010;167(1 – 4):625– 630.

Singh J, Kalamdhad AS. Effects of heavy metals on soil, plants, human health and aquatic life. International Journal of Research in Chemistry and Environment. 2011;1(2):15-21.

Aktaruzzaman M, Fakhruddin ANM, Chowdhury MAZ, Fardous Z, Alam MK. Accumulation of heavy metals in soil and their transfer to leafy vegetables in the region of Dhaka Aricha highway, Savar, Bangladesh. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences. 2013;16(7):332-338.
DOI: 10.3923/pjbs.2013.332.338

Nwaichi EO, Chuku LC, Ighoavwogan E. Polycylclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Selected Heavy Metals in Some Oil Polluted Sites in Delta State Nigeria. Journal of Environmental Protection. 2016; 7:1389-1410. Available:

API (American Petroleum Institute). Inter laboratory study of three methods for analyzing petroleum hydrocarbons in soil, Diesel Range Organics (DRO), Gasoline Range Organics (GRO) and Petroleum Hydrocarbon (PHC). Publication Number 4599; 1994.

Murphy CB. Bioaccumulation and toxicity of heavy metals and related trace elements. Research Journal of the Water Pollution Control Federation.1981;53(6): 993–999.

Forstner U, Wittman GTW. Metal pollution in the aquatic environment. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Germany. 1981;488.
ISBN-13: 9783642693854