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Environmental pollution constitutes a great health hazard to human, animals and plants with local, regional and global implications. Pollution has adverse effects on land, water and its biotic and abiotic components. Effluents from industries are normally considered as the main industrial pollutants containing organic and inorganic compounds.
This experiment was conducted under laboratory condition to investigate the effect of different heavy metals in pharmaceutical effluent on germination and growth of okro (Abelmoschus esculentus) and tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) seed. The effect of these effluents was compared with control water. The soil on which the plants were grown was analysed. A control sample watered with de-ionised water was also analysed. The plant samples were divided into stem, root and leaf prior to digestion and analysed. The soil and plant samples were digested by wet-oxidation technique and analysed for heavy metals by atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS). Lead, Cadmium, Chromium, Zinc, Copper, Nickel and Iron concentrations were found in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) and okro (Abelmoschus esculentus) plants watered with different concentrations of pharmaceutical effluent. The results stated that the industrial effluents significantly affect germination; root, stem and shoot elongation of the investigated crops with the highest concentration found in the root of the investigated plants when compared to the stem and leaf. Hence, it can be concluded that effluents from pharmaceutical companies is toxic to life.