Waste disposal is a vital environmental problem
in both developed and developing countries. Nigeria
generates an estimate of 29.78 x 109 kg waste annually
which decomposes to produce toxicants with high
concentrations which pose serious ecological and health
risks to organisms. This research was carried out to
evaluate the heavy metal composition as well as
cytogenotoxic risk potential of soil and water samples
collected from the halls of residence of Kogi State
University, Nigeria. The concentration of heavy metals
(Copper (Cu), Iron (Fe), Lead (Pb), Zinc (Zn), Nikel (Ni),
Arsenic (As), Cadmium (Cd), and Chromium (Cr)) in soil
samples were determined using Atomic Absorption
Spectroscopy (AAS) and pollution index (PI) was assess by
considering the combined contributions of all studied
metals while cytogenotoxic potential of soil and water
samples were assessed by using the Allium cepa test. The
average concentration of metals in the dumpsite soils
followed the trend Fe>Zn>Cu>Ni>Cr>Cd>Pb>As.
Pollution index (PI) result revealed all dumpsite soil
samples were within the range of moderate to strong
pollution indicating potential risk to human health. The
samples induced significant inhibition of Allium cepa root
growth, decreased Mitotic index (MI) down the groups and
induction of cell abnormalities compared to the control.
The observed cytogenotoxic effects were assumed to be
instigated by the heavy metals present in the samples.
These results suggest that the investigated samples may be
contaminated and may be of health risk to human
population in case of exposure through dermal contact and
direct ingestion. A serious and urgent introspection of
these sites are therefore required by the stakeholders to
mitigate this threat.
Keywords : Waste disposal, Soil, Heavy Metal, Pollution, Health Risk.