Radioactive: Soil around diesel vehicle workshops contaminated

The highest quantity of nickel was found to be in the soil of diesel vehicle workshops

Our Correspondent October 16, 2015


University of Peshawar (UoP) MPhil student Neelma Asad said pollution generated by automobile workshops was a matter of serious concern in the city but the government turned a blind eye to it. She was discussing her research study’s results at UoP’s MPhil defence ceremony on Thursday, according to a handout issued on Thursday.


Asad, whose research was supervised by Professor Dr Nafees, said a survey had been conducted at 20 different workshops of the city to find out automobile waste generation and its reuse. Soil samples from 15 different automobile workshops were collected at a depth of 0-15cm. These samples were then investigated for traces of heavy metals (chromium, lead and nickel) through an atomic absorption spectrophotometer.

Findings and results

Asad said the results indicated the environment conditions of automobile workshops and occupational health and safety of workers were deplorable.

According to the press release, chromium was present in the largest amount at diesel vehicle workshops with the highest and lowest quantities being D2-258mg/kg and D1-34mg/kg respectively. The highest and lowest level of lead was detected at rickshaw workshops – R5-72,500mg/kg and R1-19.3mg/kg respectively.

The highest quantity of nickel was found to be in the soil of diesel vehicle workshops – D2-142 mg/kg and its lowest level was discovered in the soil of rickshaw workshops, R2-3.9mg/kg. “The soil of diesel vehicle workshop was found to be more contaminated compared to other automobile workshops,” said Asad.


Asad said there was a dire need to register all automobile workshops in the city and to educate mechanics and other staff regarding the safe disposal of heavy metals waste. “Moreover, Environmental Assessment Checklists guidelines need to be formulated for these workshops since this sector has been completely ignored by Environmental Protection Agency,” she added.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 16th, 2015.


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