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Dust is the combination of both anthropogenic and natural particles obtained from various sources. This can be used to identify the hazardous pollutants being released into our environment. Road dust is nowadays being used as means of measuring pollution in urban and industrial areas this comprises of vehicle exhaust, dry and wet particles, as well as particles carried by precipitation runoff. Road dust comprises of roughly 60% soil derived materials, where about 40-50% of these soil derived materials mostly are quartz, the remaining are minerals such as Chlorite and Muscovite which are referred to as clay forming minerals.
The Soil is one of the major deposit centres for heavy metals released into the environment from anthropogenic sources, especially in areas of increasing industrialization which will give way to not only industrial processes but also manufacturing processes as well as products that contain heavy metals(fertilizers, paints, gasoline, pesticides, etc. ). These metals are potentially dangerous due to prominent traits such as toxicity, longevity, etc they possess. The Occurrence of such metals has been found to be mostly in urban areas and industrial zones. While studies of contamination of soils have been done by numerous investigators, there is limited research on the concentration of heavy metals in road dust from various users in the Ota region.
Heavy metals have been studied in different environmental samples because of their significant impact on health and activities of human beings. Over time Heavy metals have grown to be considered as one of the main contaminants in the environment due to factors such as toxicity, ability to accumulate etc. Based on earlier studies it was said that the size of particulate matter was attributed to health defects but subsequent studies have shown that these health defects are dependent mostly on the chemical composition of the matter in question.
According to the International agency for research on cancer. Several heavy metals have been linked to diseases such as Arsenic (As), Cadmium (Cd), Chromium (Cr) and Nickel (Ni) which can be responsible for damage of the repair process, disruption in the tumour suppressor gene and enzymatic activities concerned in metabolism.
There is an increasing need to control the exposure to such metals because of the human bodies inability to detoxify heavy metals which are also able to accumulate in vital organs such as the liver, kidney, bones and muscles. Heavy metals can diffuse to the urbanized environment from vehicle emissions, traffic activities, Industries activities and other anthropogenic activities. In urban areas topsoil and street dust can be used to monitor heavy metal contaminations. This is due to the property of both the topsoil and the street dust being non-biodegradable.
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