Eurasian Journal of Soil Science

Volume 3, Issue 1, Jun 2014, Pages 65 - 76
DOI: 10.18393/ejss.66428
Stable URL: http://ejss.fess.org/10.18393/ejss.66428
Copyright © 2014 The authors and Federation of Eurasian Soil Science Societies



Comparative assessment of trace metals in soils associated with casket burials: Towards implementing green burials

X

Article first published online: 28 Jun 2014 | How to cite | Additional Information (Show All)

Author information | Publication information | Export Citiation (Plain Text | BibTeX | EndNote | RefMan)

CLASSICAL | APA | MLA | TURABIAN | IEEE | ISO 690

Abstract | References | Article (XML) | Article (HTML) | PDF | 1722 | 4255

Aruomero ,A., Afolabi,O., 2014. Comparative assessment of trace metals in soils associated with casket burials: Towards implementing green burials. Eurasian J Soil Sci 3(1):65 - 76. DOI : 10.18393/ejss.66428
Aruomero ,A.,,& Afolabi,O. Comparative assessment of trace metals in soils associated with casket burials: Towards implementing green burials Eurasian Journal of Soil Science, DOI : 10.18393/ejss.66428
Aruomero ,A.,, and ,Afolabi,O."Comparative assessment of trace metals in soils associated with casket burials: Towards implementing green burials" Eurasian Journal of Soil Science, DOI : 10.18393/ejss.66428
Aruomero ,A.,, and ,Afolabi,O. "Comparative assessment of trace metals in soils associated with casket burials: Towards implementing green burials" Eurasian Journal of Soil Science, DOI : 10.18393/ejss.66428
AS,Aruomero .O,Afolabi "Comparative assessment of trace metals in soils associated with casket burials: Towards implementing green burials" Eurasian J. Soil Sci, vol., no., pp., DOI : 10.18393/ejss.66428
Aruomero ,Amuno ;Afolabi,Oluwajana Comparative assessment of trace metals in soils associated with casket burials: Towards implementing green burials. Eurasian Journal of Soil Science,. DOI : 10.18393/ejss.66428

How to cite

Aruomero , A., S. Afolabi, O., S.2014. Comparative assessment of trace metals in soils associated with casket burials: Towards implementing green burials. Eurasian J. Soil Sci. 3(1): 65 - 76. DOI : 10.18393/ejss.66428

Author information

Amuno Aruomero , University of Saint Joseph, Macau SAR, China
Oluwajana Afolabi , Department of Geology, Adekunle Ajasin University, Ondo State, Nigeria

Publication information

Issue published online: 30 Jun 2014
Article first published online : 28 Jun 2014
Manuscript Accepted : 26 Jun 2014
Manuscript Received: 13 May 2014
DOI: 10.18393/ejss.66428
Stable URL: http://ejss.fesss.org/10.18393/ejss.66428

Abstract

Casket burials has been one of the most prevalent methods of disposing of the dead for several centuries. However, its increasing use in many countries has engendered serious environmental and epidemiological concerns due to documented evidences of leaching of toxic metals and pathogens as human remains and grave contents decompose over time. In this paper, a comparative trace element study of surface soils samples collected from two municipal cemeteries located in Macao SAR (China) and Akure (Nigeria) was undertaken to investigate their contamination potential. Soil contamination assessment based on index of geo-accumulation indicate that the soils associated with the Macao cemetery have been significantly contaminated with Ag, Cd, Hg, Pb, Se and Zn, while that of Akure site did not show significant pollution. From a comparative perspective, it was observed that the levels of Pb and Zn observed in the Macao cemetery soils was higher than the maximum values reported for selected cemetery soils in Brazil, South Africa, Rwanda, and the United States of America. For the Akure site, none of the samples showed significant pollution as the levels of trace elements were within the uncontamination threshold. Inconsistent levels of trace metals levels observed in the soils of the two cemeteries is likely to have resulted from the differences in the number of burials, soil characteristics, type of materials used for construction of coffins. The findings therefore suggest the need to improve awareness of eco-friendly burials to protect and conserve the environment.

Keywords

Casket burials, trace elements, green burials and environmental protection

Corresponding author

References

Agamuthu, P., Fauziah, S.H., 2010. Heavy Metal Pollution in Landfill Environment: A Malaysian Case Study. 2010 4th International Conference on Bioinformatics and Biomedical Engineering (iCBBE), pp. 1-4.

Amuno, S.A. 2013. Potential Ecological Risk of Heavy Metal Distribution in Cemetery Soils. Water, Air & Soil Pollution. 224:1435-1447.

Akobundu, A.N., Nwankwoala, H.O., 2013. Evaluation of Heavy Metal in Soils From Enyimba Dumpsite in Aba, Southeastern Nigeria Using Contamination Factor and Geo-Accumulation Index. Energy & Environment Research, 3: 125

Buat-Menard, P., Chesselet, R., 1979. Variable Influence of the Atmospheric Flux on the Trace-Metal Chemistry of Oceanic Suspended Matter. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 42(3): 399-411.

Banat, K. M., Howari, F. M., Al-Hamad, A.A., 2005. Heavy metals in urban soils of central Jordan: Should we worry about their environmental risks? Environmental Research, 97, 258-273

Barros, Y.J., Melo, V.D., Zanello, S., Romano, E.N.D., Luciano, P.R., 2008. Heavy metal contents and mineralogical characterization of soils from the Santa Candida Municipal Cemetery, in Curitiba (PR, Brazil). Revista Brasileira De Ciencia Do Solo, 32(4), 1763-1773.

CH003-Chemical Hazards, 2010. http://humanservices.alberta.ca/documents/WHS-PUB_ch003.pdf

Central Intelligence Agency, 2013. Macau. ttps://www.cia.gov/library/publications/theworldfactbook/geos/mc.html

Countrydata.com. Geography of Macau. http://www.country-data.com/cgi-bin/query/r-8305.html

Cultural China, 2007. Macao Heritages (24) Protestant Cemetery. http://history.culturalchina.com/en /54History6866.html

Cutler, A.H. 2004. Hair Test Interpretation: Finding Hidden Toxicities. Biomed Publishing Group. 298p

De Miguel, E., Jiminez de Grado, M., Llamas, J.F., Martine-Dorado, A., Mazadiego, L.F., 1998. The overlooked contribution of compost application to the trace element load in the urban soil of Madrid (Spain). Science of the Total Environment 215: 113–122.

Dent, B.B., 2000b. Decay products in cemetery ground waters. Geology and Sustainable Development: Challenges for the Third Millennium. 31st International Geological Congress, Rio de Janeiro, pp. 6–17.

Dumčius, A., Paliulis, D., Kozlovska-Kędziora, J., 2011. Selection of investigation methods for heavy metal pollution on soil and sediments of water basins and river bottoms: a review. Ekologija, 57(1).

Ebong, G.A., Etuk, H.S., Johnson, A.S., 2007. Heavy Metals Accumlation by Talinum.Triangulare Grown on waster Dumpsites in Uyo Metropolis Akwa Ibom State, Nigieria. Journal of Applied Sciences, 7(10): 1404 –1409.

Ebong, G. A., Akpan, M. M., Mkpenie, V.N., 2008. Heavy metal contents of municipal and rural dumpsite soils and rate of accumulation by Carica papaya and Talinum triangulare in Uyo, Nigeria. Journal of Chemistry, 5(2), 281-290.

Engelbrecht, J.F.P., 1998. Groundwater pollution from cemeteries. The Water Institute of Southern Africa, Biennal Conference and Exhibition. 1: 1-8.

Fogli, D., 2004. Techniques of decomposition of Bodies Adopted in Cemeteries and Their Relations with the Environment, available at http://www.docstoc.com/docs/5177995/decomposition-dead-bodies

Hao, G., Lok, T.M.H., 2008. Study of Shear Wave Velocity of Macao Marine Clay under Anisotropic Stress Condition. The 14 World Conference on Earthquake Engineering October 12-17, 2008, Beijing, China.

Hacker-Norton, D., Trinkley, M., 1984. Remember Man Thou Art Dust: Coffin Hardware of the Early Twentieth Century.

Hiscox, Gardner D., 1968. Henley's Twentieth Century Book of lOrmulas, Processes and Trade Secrets. Books, Inc., New York.

Huggins, H.A. 1993. It's All in Your Head: The Link Between Mercury Amalgams and Illness Jonker. Paragon Press.

Jonker, C., Olivier, J. 2012. Mineral Contamination from Cemetery Soils: Case Study of Zandfontein Cemetery, South Africa. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 9, 515-520

Kemerich, P.D.C., Borba, W.F., Silva, R.F., Barros, G., Gerhardt, A.E., Flores, C.E.B., 2012. Valores anômalos de metais pesados em solo de cemitério. Ambi-Agua, Taubaté, 7:140-156.

Kouame, I.K., Dibi, B., Koffi, K., Savane, I., Sandu, I., 2010. Statistical Approach of Assessing Horizontal Mobility of Heavy Metals in the Soil of Akouedo Landfill Nearby Ebrie Lagoon (Abidjan-Cote d’Ivoire). International Journal of Conservation Science, 1(3), 149-160.

Li, X.D., Lee, S.L., Wong, S.C., Shi, W.Z.,Thornton, I., 2004. The study of metal contamination in urban soils of Hong Kong using a GIS-based approach. Environmental Pollution 129: 113-124.

Lindsay, R., Ride, M., 1996. An East India Company Cemetery: Protestant Burials in Macao, 324 pp.

Morton-Bermea, O., Hernandez-Alvarez, E., Gonzalez-Hernandez, G., Romero, R., Lozano, F., Beramendi-Orosco, L.E. 2009. Assessment of heavy metal pollution in urban topsoils from the metropolitan area of Mexico City. Journal of Geochemical Exploration 101: 218-224

Muller, G,, 1969. Index of geoaccumulation in sediments of the Rhine River. Geojournal 2: 108–118.

Nikolaidis, C., Zafiriadis, I., Mathioudakis, V,, Constantinidis, T., 2010. Heavy metal pollution associated with an abandoned lead- zinc mine in the Kiriki region NE Greece. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 85(3):307-312.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (2010). Available at http://www.epa.ohio.gov/portals/41/p2/ mercury_pbt/mercur.pdf

Pacheco, A., Mendes, J.M.B., Martins, T., Hassuda, S., Kimmelmann, A.A., 1991. Cemeteries - A Potential Risk to Groundwater. Water Science & Technology 24(11): 97–104

Paustenbach, D.J. 2002. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: Theory and Pactice. Wiley-Interscience 1592 p.

Pour, S.K., Khezri, S.M., 2010. Assessing the groundwater resources pollution potential by Beheshte Zahra Cemetery. International Conference on Chemistry and Chemical Engineering (ICCCE 2010), pp 414-418.

Rodrigues, L., Pacheco, A., 2003. Ground Water Contamination from Cemeteries Cases of Study. Environmental 2010: Situation and Perspectives for the European Union 6-10 May 2003. Porto, Portugal

Spongberg, A., Becks, P., 2000b. Inorganic soil contamination from cemetery leachate. Water, Air and Soil Pollution 117: 313–27.

Stoffers, P., Glasby, G.P., Wilson, C.J., Davies, K.R., Walter, P., 1986. Heavy metal pollution in Wellington Harbour. New Zealand Journal of Marine Freshwater Research 20, 495-512.

Taylor, S.R., McLennan, S.M., 1995. The geochemical evolution of the continental crust. Reviews in Geophysics 33: 241-265.

Üçisik, A.S., Rushbrook, P., 1998. The impact of cemeteries on the Environment and Public Health: An Introductory Briefing (EUR/IPC/EHNA 01 04 01(A)

UK Environmental Agency, 2004. Assessing the Groundwater Pollution Potential of Cemetery Developments. Available at https://publications.environmentagency.gov.uk/skeleton/publications/SearchResults.aspx?name=SCHO0404 BGLA-E-E

Uslu, A,, Bari, E., Erdogan, E., 2009. Ecological concerns over cemeteries. African Journal of Agricultural Research 4 (13): 1505-1511,

Van Haaren, F.W.J., 1951. Cemeteries as sources of groundwater contamination. (emneerlandês). Water 35(16): 167–172.

Zhongping Y., Wenxi L., Yuqiao L., Xinhua B., Qingchun Y., 2011. Assessment of heavy metals contamination in urban topsoil from Changchun City, China. Journal of Geochemical Exploration 108: 27–38

Żychowski, J., 2012. Impact of cemeteries on groundwater chemistry: A review. Catena 93: 29–37

Abstract

Casket burials has been one of the most prevalent methods of disposing of the dead for several centuries. However, its increasing use in many countries has engendered serious environmental and epidemiological concerns due to documented evidences of leaching of toxic metals and pathogens as human remains and grave contents decompose over time. In this paper, a comparative trace element study of surface soils samples collected from two municipal cemeteries located in Macao SAR (China) and Akure (Nigeria) was undertaken to investigate their contamination potential. Soil contamination assessment based on index of geo-accumulation indicate that the soils associated with the Macao cemetery have been significantly contaminated with Ag, Cd, Hg, Pb, Se and Zn, while that of Akure site did not show significant pollution. From a comparative perspective, it was observed that the levels of Pb and Zn observed in the Macao cemetery soils was higher than the maximum values reported for selected cemetery soils in Brazil, South Africa, Rwanda, and the United States of America. For the Akure site, none of the samples showed significant pollution as the levels of trace elements were within the uncontamination threshold. Inconsistent levels of trace metals levels observed in the soils of the two cemeteries is likely to have resulted from the differences in the number of burials, soil characteristics, type of materials used for construction of coffins. The findings therefore suggest the need to improve awareness of eco-friendly burials to protect and conserve the environment.

Keywords: Casket burials, trace elements, green burials and environmental protection

References

Agamuthu, P., Fauziah, S.H., 2010. Heavy Metal Pollution in Landfill Environment: A Malaysian Case Study. 2010 4th International Conference on Bioinformatics and Biomedical Engineering (iCBBE), pp. 1-4.

Amuno, S.A. 2013. Potential Ecological Risk of Heavy Metal Distribution in Cemetery Soils. Water, Air & Soil Pollution. 224:1435-1447.

Akobundu, A.N., Nwankwoala, H.O., 2013. Evaluation of Heavy Metal in Soils From Enyimba Dumpsite in Aba, Southeastern Nigeria Using Contamination Factor and Geo-Accumulation Index. Energy & Environment Research, 3: 125

Buat-Menard, P., Chesselet, R., 1979. Variable Influence of the Atmospheric Flux on the Trace-Metal Chemistry of Oceanic Suspended Matter. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 42(3): 399-411.

Banat, K. M., Howari, F. M., Al-Hamad, A.A., 2005. Heavy metals in urban soils of central Jordan: Should we worry about their environmental risks? Environmental Research, 97, 258-273

Barros, Y.J., Melo, V.D., Zanello, S., Romano, E.N.D., Luciano, P.R., 2008. Heavy metal contents and mineralogical characterization of soils from the Santa Candida Municipal Cemetery, in Curitiba (PR, Brazil). Revista Brasileira De Ciencia Do Solo, 32(4), 1763-1773.

CH003-Chemical Hazards, 2010. http://humanservices.alberta.ca/documents/WHS-PUB_ch003.pdf

Central Intelligence Agency, 2013. Macau. ttps://www.cia.gov/library/publications/theworldfactbook/geos/mc.html

Countrydata.com. Geography of Macau. http://www.country-data.com/cgi-bin/query/r-8305.html

Cultural China, 2007. Macao Heritages (24) Protestant Cemetery. http://history.culturalchina.com/en /54History6866.html

Cutler, A.H. 2004. Hair Test Interpretation: Finding Hidden Toxicities. Biomed Publishing Group. 298p

De Miguel, E., Jiminez de Grado, M., Llamas, J.F., Martine-Dorado, A., Mazadiego, L.F., 1998. The overlooked contribution of compost application to the trace element load in the urban soil of Madrid (Spain). Science of the Total Environment 215: 113–122.

Dent, B.B., 2000b. Decay products in cemetery ground waters. Geology and Sustainable Development: Challenges for the Third Millennium. 31st International Geological Congress, Rio de Janeiro, pp. 6–17.

Dumčius, A., Paliulis, D., Kozlovska-Kędziora, J., 2011. Selection of investigation methods for heavy metal pollution on soil and sediments of water basins and river bottoms: a review. Ekologija, 57(1).

Ebong, G.A., Etuk, H.S., Johnson, A.S., 2007. Heavy Metals Accumlation by Talinum.Triangulare Grown on waster Dumpsites in Uyo Metropolis Akwa Ibom State, Nigieria. Journal of Applied Sciences, 7(10): 1404 –1409.

Ebong, G. A., Akpan, M. M., Mkpenie, V.N., 2008. Heavy metal contents of municipal and rural dumpsite soils and rate of accumulation by Carica papaya and Talinum triangulare in Uyo, Nigeria. Journal of Chemistry, 5(2), 281-290.

Engelbrecht, J.F.P., 1998. Groundwater pollution from cemeteries. The Water Institute of Southern Africa, Biennal Conference and Exhibition. 1: 1-8.

Fogli, D., 2004. Techniques of decomposition of Bodies Adopted in Cemeteries and Their Relations with the Environment, available at http://www.docstoc.com/docs/5177995/decomposition-dead-bodies

Hao, G., Lok, T.M.H., 2008. Study of Shear Wave Velocity of Macao Marine Clay under Anisotropic Stress Condition. The 14 World Conference on Earthquake Engineering October 12-17, 2008, Beijing, China.

Hacker-Norton, D., Trinkley, M., 1984. Remember Man Thou Art Dust: Coffin Hardware of the Early Twentieth Century.

Hiscox, Gardner D., 1968. Henley's Twentieth Century Book of lOrmulas, Processes and Trade Secrets. Books, Inc., New York.

Huggins, H.A. 1993. It's All in Your Head: The Link Between Mercury Amalgams and Illness Jonker. Paragon Press.

Jonker, C., Olivier, J. 2012. Mineral Contamination from Cemetery Soils: Case Study of Zandfontein Cemetery, South Africa. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 9, 515-520

Kemerich, P.D.C., Borba, W.F., Silva, R.F., Barros, G., Gerhardt, A.E., Flores, C.E.B., 2012. Valores anômalos de metais pesados em solo de cemitério. Ambi-Agua, Taubaté, 7:140-156.

Kouame, I.K., Dibi, B., Koffi, K., Savane, I., Sandu, I., 2010. Statistical Approach of Assessing Horizontal Mobility of Heavy Metals in the Soil of Akouedo Landfill Nearby Ebrie Lagoon (Abidjan-Cote d’Ivoire). International Journal of Conservation Science, 1(3), 149-160.

Li, X.D., Lee, S.L., Wong, S.C., Shi, W.Z.,Thornton, I., 2004. The study of metal contamination in urban soils of Hong Kong using a GIS-based approach. Environmental Pollution 129: 113-124.

Lindsay, R., Ride, M., 1996. An East India Company Cemetery: Protestant Burials in Macao, 324 pp.

Morton-Bermea, O., Hernandez-Alvarez, E., Gonzalez-Hernandez, G., Romero, R., Lozano, F., Beramendi-Orosco, L.E. 2009. Assessment of heavy metal pollution in urban topsoils from the metropolitan area of Mexico City. Journal of Geochemical Exploration 101: 218-224

Muller, G,, 1969. Index of geoaccumulation in sediments of the Rhine River. Geojournal 2: 108–118.

Nikolaidis, C., Zafiriadis, I., Mathioudakis, V,, Constantinidis, T., 2010. Heavy metal pollution associated with an abandoned lead- zinc mine in the Kiriki region NE Greece. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 85(3):307-312.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (2010). Available at http://www.epa.ohio.gov/portals/41/p2/ mercury_pbt/mercur.pdf

Pacheco, A., Mendes, J.M.B., Martins, T., Hassuda, S., Kimmelmann, A.A., 1991. Cemeteries - A Potential Risk to Groundwater. Water Science & Technology 24(11): 97–104

Paustenbach, D.J. 2002. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: Theory and Pactice. Wiley-Interscience 1592 p.

Pour, S.K., Khezri, S.M., 2010. Assessing the groundwater resources pollution potential by Beheshte Zahra Cemetery. International Conference on Chemistry and Chemical Engineering (ICCCE 2010), pp 414-418.

Rodrigues, L., Pacheco, A., 2003. Ground Water Contamination from Cemeteries Cases of Study. Environmental 2010: Situation and Perspectives for the European Union 6-10 May 2003. Porto, Portugal

Spongberg, A., Becks, P., 2000b. Inorganic soil contamination from cemetery leachate. Water, Air and Soil Pollution 117: 313–27.

Stoffers, P., Glasby, G.P., Wilson, C.J., Davies, K.R., Walter, P., 1986. Heavy metal pollution in Wellington Harbour. New Zealand Journal of Marine Freshwater Research 20, 495-512.

Taylor, S.R., McLennan, S.M., 1995. The geochemical evolution of the continental crust. Reviews in Geophysics 33: 241-265.

Üçisik, A.S., Rushbrook, P., 1998. The impact of cemeteries on the Environment and Public Health: An Introductory Briefing (EUR/IPC/EHNA 01 04 01(A)

UK Environmental Agency, 2004. Assessing the Groundwater Pollution Potential of Cemetery Developments. Available at https://publications.environmentagency.gov.uk/skeleton/publications/SearchResults.aspx?name=SCHO0404 BGLA-E-E

Uslu, A,, Bari, E., Erdogan, E., 2009. Ecological concerns over cemeteries. African Journal of Agricultural Research 4 (13): 1505-1511,

Van Haaren, F.W.J., 1951. Cemeteries as sources of groundwater contamination. (emneerlandês). Water 35(16): 167–172.

Zhongping Y., Wenxi L., Yuqiao L., Xinhua B., Qingchun Y., 2011. Assessment of heavy metals contamination in urban topsoil from Changchun City, China. Journal of Geochemical Exploration 108: 27–38

Żychowski, J., 2012. Impact of cemeteries on groundwater chemistry: A review. Catena 93: 29–37



Eurasian Journal of Soil Science