Environmental pollution by heavy metals has become a global issue in the recent years as it affects public health. Especially with the continue increase in anthropogenic activities such as industries and urbanization which releases pollutants in to the environment without control and effects remedies. Among the numerous environmental pollutants, heavy metals plays an important role as its concentrations in air, soil and water are continuously increasing due to anthropogenic activities. Heavy metal is any metal that is toxic regardless of their density or atomic mass. Heavy metals occur naturally in the soil environment from the pedogenetic processes of weathering of parent materials and from anthropogenic sources such as traffic emission, industrial and energy production, waste disposal, vehicle exhaust as well as coal and fuel combustion. Excess of metal pollutants deposited on soils may be transformed and transported to vegetation and from plants they pass on to animals and human being through the food chain. Excessive levels of heavy metal can be damaging to the organism and plants by disrupt metabolic functions of vital organs and glands. Also they displace the vital nutritional minerals from their original place, thereby, hindering their biological function. Therefore it is important to continually assess and monitor the levels of heavy metals in an environment due to increase in anthropogenic activities for evaluation of human exposure and for sustainable environment The aim of this paper is to discuss illustratively environmental (air, soil and water) pollution by heavy metals. Sources of heavy metals in an environment as well as their effects on organisms and plants were examined. Different methods of assessing their level of pollution were also considered and remedies were presented.
Ezekiel Tagui Williams,
Environmental Pollution by Heavy Metal: An Overview, International Journal of Environmental Chemistry.
Vol. 3, No. 2,
2019, pp. 72-82.
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