First screening study of metal content in soil from a mixed waste receptacle



Publication Details

Chandra, S., Gangaiya, P., Togamana, C. & Prasad, S. (2015). First screening study of metal content in soil from a mixed waste receptacle. The South Pacific Journal of Natural and Applied Sciences, 33 (2), 7-12.


We report the first screening study for the metals copper, zinc, lead, nickel and cadmium in the Lami municipal disposal facility, in Suva, Fiji where virtually uncontrolled dumping has been carried out for over fifty years. Soil from three parts of the facility having had different degrees of usage was analysed for a range of heavy metals, and evaluated according to international guidelines. The results show copper (100-220 mg kg-1), lead (200-500 mg kg-1) and zinc (220-350 mg kg-1) concentrations exceeded commonly used eco-toxicity threshold values (copper, 160 mg kg-1; lead, 210 mg kg-1; and zinc, 220 mg kg-1). Moreover, there were indications that considerable leaching may have been occurring for long periods of time at the site. Overall, this study shows that even in areas with little industrialization, lack of adequate waste management controls can result in unusually high levels of contamination. The results raise concerns about the wellbeing of the communities living adjacent to the facility that depend on the adjacent marine environment for subsistence.

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