Pollution Assessment of Toxic and Potentially Toxic Elements in Agricultural Soils of the City Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

  • Minbale Aschale
  • Yilma Sileshi
  • Mary Kelly-Quinn
  • Dereje Hailu


Due to the significantly fast urban expansion and increased industrial activities, the soils in the farms in Addis Ababa are contaminated by some toxic and potentially toxic elements (As, V, Cr, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, B, Ba, Sr, Zn, Mn, Pb and Cd) in varying degrees. The mean concentrations of Cr, Ni, As and B in most of the soil farms were found to be higher than the maximum recommended limits. The mean concentrations of Cd, Cu, Pb, Co, Ni and Mn were found to be higher than the background soil concentrations given for uncontaminated soils. Multivariate analyses coupled with correlation analysis were used to identify possible sources. The geo-accumulation index values for Cr, Mn and Pb indicated that the farm soils were unpolluted to moderately polluted as a result of anthropogenic activities. A comprehensive environmental management strategy should be formulated by the government to measure further pollution of the farmland soil.


Toxic elements Contamination Geoaccumulation index Multivariate analysis 



Financial support for this project was obtained from the University of Connecticut-Addis Ababa University and the Irish Environmental Protection Agency. Access to the laboratory in Inland Fisheries Ireland, is also acknowledged and special thanks are due to Dr. Diarmiud Ryan for his expert guidance on chemical analysis.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Minbale Aschale
    • 1
  • Yilma Sileshi
    • 2
  • Mary Kelly-Quinn
    • 3
  • Dereje Hailu
    • 2
  1. 1.Ethiopian Institute of Water ResourcesAddis Ababa UniversityAddis AbabaEthiopia
  2. 2.School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Institute of TechnologyAddis Ababa UniversityAddis AbabaEthiopia
  3. 3.School of Biology and Environmental ScienceUniversity College DublinDublin 4Ireland

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