Evaluation of Some Heavy Metals around the Municipal Solid Waste Disposal Area in Halabja City –Kurdistan Region of Iraq

Sherko A. Muhammad and Salar H.Karim

Biology Department, College of Science, University of Sulaimani, Kurdistan Regin, Iraq


Handling and disposal of solid waste can be a major environmental problem in
developing countries. In Kurdistan region of Iraq solid waste is not treated and managed
properly. It is only collected from the households and disposed on the outskirts of the
cities as a pile of garbage nearby the agricultural areas, sometime it is burnt or partially
dumped. The samples were collected monthly starting from May to December 2012
including ground and surface water, soil and wheat around the solid waste disposal area.
Heavy metal and metalloid concentrations measured for Zn, As, Cd, Fe, Pb and Ni were
( 0.002 – 0.012 ) mg.l-1, ( 0.01 – 0.097 ) mg.l-1, ( 0.002 – 0.003 ) mg.l-1, ( 0.011- 0.079 )
mg.l-1, ( 0.035 – 0.051 ) mg.l-1and ( 0.004 -0.015 ) mg.l-1 for ground water respectively,
while (0.003 - 0.009 ) mg.l-1, ( 0.05 – 0.16 ) mg.l-1, ( 0.002 – 0.004 ) mg.l-1, ( 0.051 –
0.171 ) mg.l-1, ( 0.04 – 0.044 ) mg.l-1, ( 0.021 – 0.022 ) mg.l-1 for surface water
respectively. However, As and Pb concentration were found to be higher than the
permissible values recommended by WHO for drinking water quality while the rest were
below the safe limits. The concentrations of heavy metals and metalloids were found in
order of Mn> Zn>Cu >Ni> Pb>Cr>As> Cd ( 987 - 1187 mg.kg-1, 225.03 – 915.3mg.kg-1
, 232.8- 301.1 mg.kg-1, 150.4 – 192.2 mg.kg-1, 76.71 - 193.1 mg.kg-1, 142.2
– 173.1 mg.kg-1, 14.23 – 20.15 mg.kg-1and 2.317 – 5.712 mg.kg-1 ) which exceed the
European union standard for Ni, Zn, Cr, Cd, Mn, Cu, while Pb and As were found to be
within the range of all trace elements for agricultural soils. The range for trace elements
for wheat samples were 115 mg.kg-1 for Zn, 0.0313 mg.kg-1 for As, 1.2 mg.kg-1 for Cd,
2.1 mg.kg-1 for Pb, 1.19 mg.kg-1 for Ni and 0.058 mg.kg-1 for Cr.

Key Words:
Halabja Solid waste
Evaluation of some
heavy metals
Municipal Solid Waste
Effects on the Human


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