Table of Contents
ISRN Ecology
Volume 2011, Article ID 402647, 20 pages
Review Article

Heavy Metals in Contaminated Soils: A Review of Sources, Chemistry, Risks and Best Available Strategies for Remediation

1Analytical Environmental Chemistry Research Group, Department of Chemistry, Benue State University, Makurdi 970001, Nigeria
2Research Laboratory, GeoEnvironmental & Climate Change Adaptation Research Centre, University of Benin, Benin City 300283, Nigeria

Received 19 July 2011; Accepted 23 August 2011

Academic Editors: B. Montuelle and A. D. Steinman

Copyright © 2011 Raymond A. Wuana and Felix E. Okieimen. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Scattered literature is harnessed to critically review the possible sources, chemistry, potential biohazards and best available remedial strategies for a number of heavy metals (lead, chromium, arsenic, zinc, cadmium, copper, mercury and nickel) commonly found in contaminated soils. The principles, advantages and disadvantages of immobilization, soil washing and phytoremediation techniques which are frequently listed among the best demonstrated available technologies for cleaning up heavy metal contaminated sites are presented. Remediation of heavy metal contaminated soils is necessary to reduce the associated risks, make the land resource available for agricultural production, enhance food security and scale down land tenure problems arising from changes in the land use pattern.