Investigation of soils affected by burnt hospital wastes in Nigeria using PIXE

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Abstract

Improper management of hospital waste has been reported to be responsible for several acute outbreaks like the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). In spite of these challenges, hospital wastes are sometimes not properly handled in Nigeria. To date, there has not been an adequate study on the effect and fate of burnt hospital waste on agricultural soil. The effect of burnt hospital wastes on the agricultural soil was conducted on soils sampled around farm settlement near Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex, Ile-Ife, South West Nigeria. PIXE technique was employed with a 1.7 MV 5SDH Tandem Pelletron accelerator available at Centre for Energy Research and Development O.A.U Ile-Ife, Nigeria. Eleven elements- Si, Cl, K, Ca, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Zr and Pb were detected and their concentrations and enrichment factors determined. The presence of Pb and Cl at the elevated concentrations range of (77.8 +/- 3.5 - 279.6 +/- 97.6 and 102.2 +/- 37.4 -167.2+/-17.43) ppm respectively in this study, is of serious health concern because of the agricultural practices in the neighborhoods of the study sites. There is a need for proper handling of hospital and other related hazardous wastes because of the possibility of such posing serious environmental pollution problems.

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Inyang, E. P., Ita, A., & Obiajunwa, E. I. (2013). Investigation of soils affected by burnt hospital wastes in Nigeria using PIXE. SpringerPlus, 2(1), 1–4. https://doi.org/10.1186/2193-1801-2-208

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