Fifty-seven typical surface soils and 108 deeper soils were collected from five former industrial sites in Beijing and concentrations of total Hg (SigmaHg) as well as pH, total carbon (TC), total nitrogen (TN), total sulfur, and dissolved organic carbon concentrations determined. The mean concentration of SigmaHg in surface soils was significantly greater than background concentrations in the vicinity of Beijing. Forty-eight percent of the samples exceeded the "critical" concentration of 1.0 mg Hg/kg, dry weight in soils, which has been established by the Chinese government. At depths of 0-80 cm in the soil, profile concentrations of SigmaHg also exceeded the background value. There were significant correlations between concentrations of SigmaHg, TC, and TN in the industrial soils. The greater concentration of SigmaHg in most soils could have been due in part to combustion of coal and leakage from industrial processes.
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"Boszke et al.  classified the divalent and elemental Hg bounds to humic matter/organic matter as the " semimobile " element portion and observed low portions of the water-soluble Hg species as well. Luo et al.  suggested that soil organic matter and nitrogen were the important sinks for Hg in the soils. The good capacity of Hg for adsorption and complexation in the solid media resulted in limited bioaccessibility of this element, which was reported by Hassen et al. . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Both soil organic matter and sulfur (S) can reduce or even suppress mercury (Hg) mobility and bioavailability in soil. A batch incubation experiment was conducted with a Chernozem and a Luvisol artificially contaminated by 440 mg·kg(-1) Hg showing wide differences in their physicochemical properties and available nutrients. The individual treatments were (i) digestate from the anaerobic fermentation of biowaste; (ii) fly ash from wood chip combustion; and (iii) ammonium sulfate, and every treatment was added with the same amount of S. The mobile Hg portion in Chernozem was highly reduced by adding digestate, even after 1 day of incubation, compared to control. Meanwhile, the outcome of these treatments was a decrease of mobile Hg forms as a function of incubation time whereas the contents of magnesium (Mg), potassium (K), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), and phosphorus (P) were stimulated by the addition of digestate in both soils. The available calcium (Ca) contents were not affected by the digestate addition. The experiment proved digestate application as the efficient measure for fast reduction of mobile Hg at extremely contaminated soils. Moreover, the decrease of the mobile mercury portion was followed by improvement of the nutrient status of the soils.
"It is increasingly being recognized that most of the soil in peri-urban areas with a high level of industrial development is contaminated with potentially toxic metals, which poses serious threat to the urban population (e.g. Binns et al. 2003; Loredo et al. 2003; Luo et al. 2008). There is growing concern about soil pollution in the rapidly expanding industry-based peri-urban interface. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The peri-urban soils of Huelva, one of the first industrial cities in Spain, are subject to severe pollution problems primarily due to past poor management of industrial wastes and effluents. In this study, soil cores were collected in seven sites potentially contaminated with toxic chemicals arising from multiple anthropogenic sources, in order to identify trace elements of concern and to assess human health risks associated with them. In most soil core samples, total concentrations of As (up to 4,390 mg kg(-1)), Cd (up to 12.9 mg kg(-1)), Cu (up to 3,162 mg kg(-1)), Pb (up to 6,385 mg kg(-1)), Sb (up to 589 mg kg(-1)) and Zn (up to 4,874 mg kg(-1)) were by more than one order of magnitude greater than the site-specific reference levels calculated on the basis of regional soil geochemical baselines. These chemicals are transferred from the hazardous wastes, mainly crude pyrite and roasted pyrite cinders, to the surrounding soils by acid drainage and atmospheric deposition of wind-blown dust. Locally, elevated concentrations of U (up to 96.3 mg kg(-1)) were detected in soils affected by releases of radionuclides from phosphogypsum wastes. The results of the human health risk-based assessment for the hypothetical exposure of an industrial worker to the surface soils indicate that, in four of the seven sites monitored, cancer risk due to As (up to 4.4 × 10(-5)) is slightly above the target health risk limit adopted by the Spanish legislation (1 × 10(-5)). The cumulative non-carcinogenic hazard index ranged from 2.0 to 12.2 indicating that there is also a concern for chronic toxic effects from dermal contact with soil.
Environmental Geochemistry and Health 05/2011; 34(1):123-39. DOI:10.1007/s10653-011-9396-0 · 2.57 Impact Factor