Environmental Impact of Some Trace Elements Emission from the Work Environment of Atbara Cement Factory and Atbara Rialway Foundry

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Sumia Ahmed Mohamed, Nimir
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This work was performed to evaluate the chemical pollution level by some trace elements at the work environment of Atbara Cement Factory (ACF) and Atbara Railway Foundry (ARF). Samples of soil and air were collected from the two sites study, ACF and ARF. To assess the environmental impact of these industrial complexes, the samples were collected from sites expected to be free from industrial emission to serve as control. Plant samples were also collected from (ACF) and the control site. The samples were analyzed and the concentrations of K, Na, Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn and Pb were determined using three analytical techniques: Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS), X-Ray, Fluorescence (XRF), and Flame Emission Photometry (FEP). Soil samples were chemically fractionated using separation methods and the solutions were analyzed using AAS methods and FEP to determine the chemical form of the elements. The quality of the data was achieved through the analysis of certified reference materials. The results of this study were compared with previous literature. The data were treated by calculating enrichment factor and statistically by multivariate analysis such as, principal component analysis and cluster analysis. The findings of the study were concluded as follows. -The effect of emission from both sites is very clear when the concentrations of the studied trace elements in soil and air samples are compared with the respective concentrations at the control site. Higher values of these elements are found at ARF and slightly high at ACF. The elements which can be attributed to industrial emission are noticeably higher at ARF, for example Cu is forty times as higher as compared to the control site. While Zn is slightly high and Pb is very high. -The same remarks are further confirmed by enrichment factor calculation. For soil samples enrichment factor was obtained for two groups of elements: the enriched group includes the elements Pb, Cu and Zn which have enrichment factors higher in ARF than in (ACF); the non enriched group includes K, Na, Fe and Mn. For air samples the elements Mn, Cu, Zn and Pb are enriched at ARF and ACF. The elements K and Fe are non-enriched in the two sites. -These findings were also consolidated by the application of factor analysis. For soil samples factor analysis led to two sources for elements: soil material for the elements Na, K, Fe and Mn, and industrial source for the elements Cu, Zn and Pb. As for air samples there are two main groupings of sources. Group one was comprised of industrial emission of K, Cu, Zn, Mn and Pb. The second group of sources contained Mn and Fe which are associated with resuspension of soil dust. Some elements were associated with more than one factor indicating that there were more than one source. Therefore, the particulate in air at ARF and ACF sites are dominated by an industrial emission and soil dispersion of the crustal elements. -As for data of plant samples which were collected from ACF and control site, the concentration ratios (CR) for the elements were calculated. Plants at ACF show a comparatively high CR than at the control site in the most of investigated elements. All these findings point clearly to the presence of environmental chemical pollution by the elements Na, K, Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn and Pb as the a result of emission from ACF and ARF. Finally in view of findings of this study, the investigator concluded with some recommendations as follows: -Technical measures such as dust separation must be applied at ACF. Protective clothing for workers must be found at ACF and ARF to protect from chemical pollution. -Workers at ACF and ARF must be given medical care. -It is important to rehabilitate the base of ARF so as to reduce this contamination with the polluting elements
Atbara Rialway Foundry, Work Environment, Trace Elements Emissio