Comparison of USEPA digestion methods to heavy metals in soil samples.

Departamento de Agronomia, UFRPE, Endereço: Rua Dom Manuel de Medeiros, S/N, Dois Irmãos, Brazil, .
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment (Impact Factor: 1.68). 07/2013; DOI: 10.1007/s10661-013-3354-5
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The use of appropriate analytical methods is of paramount importance for risk assessment and monitoring of potentially toxic metals in soils. In this sense, the objective of this study was to compare the effectiveness of two sample digestion methods, recommended by the Brazilian legislation for the management of contaminated areas (CONAMA 2009), aiming at the determination of environmentally available metal concentrations (USEPA 3050B, USEPA 3051A), as well as a total digestion method (USEPA 3052). Samples from 10 classes of soils were analyzed for Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb, Ni, and Hg. The results showed that the USEPA method 3051A is more efficient than the USEPA method 3050B in the extraction of levels considered environmentally available of Zn, Cu, Cd, Pb, and Ni. Besides providing a higher recovery of these elements, the method requires shorter digestion time, lower consumption of acids, and reduced risk of contamination. The USEPA method 3051A showed greater efficiency in Hg extraction in soils with higher clay content. Therefore, it is suitable for situations where a wide range of soils with different mineralogical characteristics are analyzed or in order to decrease the losses due to volatilization of the element in open systems.

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Jun 3, 2014