Heavy Metals Contamination and Environmental Impact

Environmental contamination by heavy metals has significantly become a global issue in the recent years as it affects soil, plants, aquatic life and human health. With the increase in anthropogenic activities such as industrialization and also with rapid urbanization, this has results to different kinds of pollutant in the environment without control or remediation. 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 from automobile, industrial and energy production, and waste disposal. Excess of heavy metal pollutants deposited on the soil may be transformed and transported from plants as they pass on to animals and to human being at the top of the food chain. Heavy metal contamination has been seen to be damaging to plants and disrupt metabolic functions of vital organs and glands of human. Therefore, it is of important to continually assess the levels of heavy metals in an environment for evaluation of human exposure and for sustainable environment. The aim of this paper is to discuss the environmental (air, soil and water) pollution by heavy metals. Sources of heavy metals in an environment as well as their potential effects. Different methods of remediating this contamination were also considered and recommendation were presented.