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Journal of Environmental and Public Health
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 8926453, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/8926453
Research Article

Heavy Metal Contamination of Soils around a Hospital Waste Incinerator Bottom Ash Dumps Site

1Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies, University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana
2School of Public Health, University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana

Received 1 December 2015; Accepted 14 February 2016

Academic Editor: Pam R. Factor-Litvak

Copyright © 2016 M. Adama et al. 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.

Abstract

Waste incineration is the main waste management strategy used in treating hospital waste in many developing countries. However, the release of dioxins, POPs, and heavy metals in fly and bottom ash poses environmental and public health concerns. To determine heavy metal (Hg, Pb, Cd, Cr, and Ag) in levels in incinerator bottom ash and soils 100 m around the incinerator bottom ash dump site, ash samples and surrounding soil samples were collected at 20 m, 40 m, 60 m, 80 m, 100 m, and 1,200 m from incinerator. These were analyzed using the absorption spectrophotometer method. The geoaccumulation () and pollution load indices (PLI) were used to assess the level of heavy metal contamination of surrounding soils. The study revealed high concentrations in mg/kg for, Zn (16417.69), Pb (143.80), Cr (99.30), and Cd (7.54) in bottom ash and these were above allowable limits for disposal in landfill. The study also found soils within 60 m radius of the incinerator to be polluted with the metals. It is recommended that health care waste managers be educated on the implication of improper management of incinerator bottom ash and regulators monitor hospital waste incinerator sites.