Pollution of Some Agricultural Soils by Heavy Metals in Kubaisa Iraqi Western Desert – A Case Study
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Center of Desert Studies, Anbar University, Ar-Ramad, Iraq
Environment Department, College of Environmental Sciences, Al-Qasim Green University, Babylon 51013, Iraq
Corresponding author
Ali Akram Abdulateef   

College of Environmental Sciences, Al-Qasim Green University, Iraq.
Ecol. Eng. Environ. Technol. 2024; 4:215-226
The main objective of this research was to evaluate the presence of heavy metal pollution in the agricultural soil of the Kubaisa district in Anbar province, Iraq. The study focused on areas affected by dust emissions from a nearby cement factory, specifically Maktom District (k1), Kubais (k2), Elkader District (k3), and Agricultural Elkader District (k4). Soil samples were collected from these locations, and a comprehensive analysis of both chemical and physical characteristics was conducted. The concentrations of heavy metals were found to range from (0 - 17.3), (39.1 - 82.6), (33.3 - 182.8), and (0 - 236.5) mg kg-1 for Cd, Ni, Co, and Pb, respectively. These concentrations indicated elevated levels compared to the (Kapata, 2011) standard levels of 0.62, 34, 12, and 34 mg kg-1 for cadmium, Ni, Co, and Pb, respectively. In terms of the Geological Accumulation Index (Igeo), the agricultural districts showed uncontaminated cadmium with accumulation values of 0. Nickel (Ni) levels varied between -0.58 and 0.53, classifying the sediment from uncontaminated to moderately contaminated. Cobalt (Co) exhibited significant contamination, with values ranging from -0.58 to 3.56. Conversely, lead (Pb) concentrations varied from uncontaminated to extremely contaminated, with values spanning from -0.58 to 5.922. The study underscored that the elevated levels of heavy metals were attributed to airborne dust emissions from the Kubais cement factory and various human activities, such as motor vehicle transportation, industrial waste discharge, and household practices. Following established quality guidelines, the pollution levels in the study area were ranked in the order of Pb > Co > Ni > Cd, with lead (Pb) exhibiting the highest degree of contamination.
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