Background: Contamination of soil with heavy metals is an alarming issue around the world. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the contamination status of heavy metals in the soil of Mongla industrial area, Bangladesh.
Methods: Soil samples were randomly collected from 20 sites and digested by wet digestion method. The concentrations of heavy metals (Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, Cd, and Pb) were determined using atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS). The quality of soil was assessed based on the contamination factor (CF),
geoaccumulation index (Igeo), enrichment factor (EF), and ecological risk index factor (ERIF) analyses.
Results: The average concentrations of Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, Cd, and Pb were obtained to be 258.08 ± 51.61, 3736.90 ± 322.17, 19.55 ± 6.49, 66.76 ± 18.32, 0.59 ± 0.13, and 10.40 ± 1.49 mg kg-1, respectively, which were below the permissible limit. The highest value of CF (0.74 ± 0.16), Igeo (0.35 ± 0.34), EF (24.86 ± 6.27), and PERIF (22.11 ± 4.81) was observed for Cd. The pollution of CF, Igeo, EF, and ERIF was classified as very severely polluted, unpolluted to moderately polluted, strongly to extremely polluted, and slightly polluted, respectively, with these heavy metals due to anthropogenic activities. One-way ANOVA indicated a significant difference between Zn and Cd concentrations (P < 0.05), whereas Pearson correlation showed a positive correlation between Zn-Pb (P = 0.01) and Fe-Zn (P = 0.05).
Conclusion: There are different classes of contamination with heavy metals in the study area. Therefore, necessary steps should be taken and people’s awareness of the soil pollution should be raised.