A García-Sánchez

Spanish National Research Council, Hispalis, Andalusia, Spain

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Publications (46)100.47 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In the presented study the airborne fungal spores of the semiarid city of Cartagena, Spain, are identified and quantified by means of viable or non-viable sampling methods. Airborne fungal samples were collected simultaneously using a filtration method and a pollen and particle sampler based on the Hirst methodology. This information is very useful for elucidating geographical patterns of hay fever and asthma. The qualitative results showed that when the non-viable methodology was employed, Cladosporium, Ustilago, and Alternaria were the most abundant spores identified in the atmosphere of Cartagena, while the viable methodology showed that the most abundant taxa were: Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus and Alternaria. The quantitative results of airborne fungal spores identified by the Hirst-type air sampler (non-viable method), showed that Deuteromycetes represented 74% of total annual spore counts, Cladosporium being the major component of the fungal spectrum (62.2%), followed by Alternaria (5.3%), and Stemphylium (1.3%). The Basidiomycetes group represented 18.9% of total annual spore counts, Ustilago (7.1%) being the most representative taxon of this group and the second most abundant spore type. Ascomycetes accounted for 6.9%, Nectria (2.3%) being the principal taxon. Oomycetes (0.2%) and Zygomycestes and Myxomycestes (0.06%) were scarce. The prevailing species define our bioaerosol as typical of dry air. The viable methodology was better at identifying small hyaline spores and allowed for the discrimination of the genus of some spore types. However, non-viable methods revealed the richness of fungal types present in the bioaerosol. Thus, the use of both methodologies provides a more comprehensive characterization of the spore profile.
    Annals of agricultural and environmental medicine: AAEM 12/2013; 20(4):664-71. · 3.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A mining area affected by the abandoned mine exploitation of a stibnite deposit was studied to establish the current and eventual environmental risks and to propose possible remediation practices. Soil and plant samples were collected at different places in this area and analyzed for their Sb content and distribution. Critical soil total concentrations of Sb were found, with values ranging from 585 to 3184mgkg(-1) dry weight in the uppermost soil layer, and decreasing progressively with soil depth. The readily labile Sb contents represent <2% of the total concentrations, whereas the soil Sb contents more susceptible of being mobilized under changing environmental conditions attain values of about 4-9% of the total concentrations. Remediation measures should be undertaken to limit off-site migration of Sb. Within the tolerant plant community growing in this area, the shrub Daphne gnidium L. stands out for its relatively high root Sb accumulation and low Sb translocation, suggesting its feasibility to be used in Sb phytostabilization strategies.
    Science of The Total Environment 02/2013; 449C:260-268. · 3.26 Impact Factor
  • P. Mayorga, A. Moyano, Hossain M. Anawar, A. García-Sánchez
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    ABSTRACT: High concentrations of arsenic (As) in groundwater of the Duero River Basin have created a public health concern in some provinces of Spain. However, the mechanism of As mobilization and influence of surface water–groundwater interaction, nutrients and different geochemical reactions on As removal have not yet been clearly reported. Therefore, this study investigated the possible mechanisms of As release, and temporal variations of As with respect to nitrate content in groundwater. Hydrogeochemical characteristics of groundwater sampled along three years in a region of central Spain showed high As contents exceeding EU guideline value of 10 μg/l. Significant positive correlations were found between As and bicarbonate concentrations in water samples. These results suggest a possible mechanism of As mobilization from sediments to groundwater as follows: bicarbonate ions can displace HAsO42- adsorbed on surface of aquifer Fe oxyhydroxide, other minerals and sediments. In addition, the high pH values of the groundwater might also favor the As desorption processes. The results showed that As concentrations in water samples decreased along with the increase in nitrate concentrations across the whole period of study (2001, 2003 and 2007). The negative and significant correlations between As and nitrate contents in water reflect the temporal variation of As concentration due to the effect of surface water–groundwater interaction and nutrient input into groundwater. The increased use of nitrogen fertilizers and pig manure in agriculture practices increased the nitrate content in groundwater during the period of this study, which could have favored the precipitation of Fe oxyhydroxides and As adsorption.
    Physics and Chemistry of the Earth Parts A/B/C 01/2013; s 58–60:22–27. · 1.04 Impact Factor
  • E Alvarez-Ayuso, V Otones, A Murciego, A García-Sánchez
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    ABSTRACT: Soil pollution with antimony is of increasing environmental concern worldwide. Measures for its control and to attenuate the risks posed to the ecosystem are required. In this study the application of several iron and aluminium oxides and oxyhydroxides as soil amendments was evaluated in order to assess their feasibility to stabilize Sb in mining polluted soils. Mine soils with different pollution levels were amended with either goethite, ferrihydrite or amorphous Al oxide at various ratios (0-10%). The effectiveness of such treatments was assessed by both batch and column leaching tests. The use of ferrihydrite or amorphous Al oxide proved to be highly effective to stabilize Sb. Immobilization levels of 100% were found when doses of 5% ferrihydrite or 10% amorphous Al oxide were applied, regardless of the soil Sb load. Column leaching studies also showed a high Sb leaching reduction (>75%) when soils were amended with 1% ferrihydrite or 5% amorphous Al oxide. Moreover, such treatments proved to simultaneously immobilize As and Pb in a great extent when soils were also polluted with such toxic elements.
    Chemosphere 10/2012; · 3.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An agricultural area impacted by the former exploitation of an arsenical lead-antimony deposit was studied in order to assess the current and eventual environmental and health impacts. Samples of soils and cultivated (wheat) and spontaneously growing plants were collected at different distances from the mine pits and analyzed for the toxic element content and distribution. The soil total concentrations of Sb, As and Pb found in the uppermost soil layer (14.1-324, 246-758 and 757-10,660mgkg(-1), respectively) greatly surpass their maximum tolerable levels in agricultural soils. Wheat grain Pb concentrations (0.068-1.36mgkg(-1)) exceed the prescribed health standard, whereas Sb (<0.05-0.103mgkg(-1)) and As (<0.05-0.126mgkg(-1)) concentrations are below the permissible limits fixed for cereals. Of the spontaneously growing plants, Dactylis glomerata L. shows a relatively high root Pb accumulation and a very low Pb translocation, suggesting its feasibility to be used in Pb phytostabilization strategies.
    Science of The Total Environment 10/2012; 439C:35-43. · 3.26 Impact Factor
  • Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. 08/2012; 93(8):1125-1132.
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    ABSTRACT: The main objective of this study was to determine arsenic (As) levels in vegetables collected from the markets of Dhaka, Bangladesh and for comparison from Salamanca, Spain by HGAAS under optimal conditions, and the potential health risk from consumption of these vegetables. The mean and range of the total As concentration in the vegetables from the markets of Dhaka, Bangladesh were 114 and 1.0-293 μg/kg, respectively. Total As concentration in 77% of Bangladesh vegetables measured was higher than that recommended by the standard. The mean and range of As concentrations for vegetables grown in Spain were 65 and bdl-130 μg/kg, respectively, for Salamanca, 102 and bdl-423 μg/kg, respectively, for Almeria. The As content of the Bangladesh vegetables was approximately twofold to threefold higher than those observed for the vegetables from Almeria and Salamanca (Spain), but in some cases, were similar or less. Daily consumption of As-rich vegetables may result in an additional source of As in the diet, based on the provisional tolerable intake of As for adults recommended by WHO.
    Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 06/2012; 89(3):620-5. · 1.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: It has been hypothesized that exposure to heavy metals may impair male reproduction. To measure the effect produced by low doses of heavy metals on semen parameters, it is necessary to clarify in which body fluids those measurements must be performed. Sixty-one men attending infertility clinics participated in our study. Concentrations of lead, cadmium, and mercury were measured in whole blood, blood plasma, and seminal plasma using spectroanalytical and electrochemical methods. Semen analyses were performed according to World Health Organization criteria. For statistical analysis, Spearman's rank correlations, mean comparison tests, and discriminant analysis were calculated. Significant correlations between the measured concentrations of the three heavy metals in the same biological fluids were observed. However, no similar relationship was seen when comparing the concentrations in different body fluids of the same metal. According to our results and previous publications, seminal plasma might be the best body fluid for assessing impairment of human semen parameters.
    Advances in Urology 01/2012; 2012:420893.
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    ABSTRACT: A mining area affected by the abandoned exploitation of an arsenical tungsten deposit was studied in order to assess its arsenic pollution level and the feasibility of native plants for being used in phytoremediation approaches. Soil and plant samples were collected at different distances from the polluting sources and analysed for their As content and distribution. Critical soil total concentrations of As were found, with values in the range 70-5330 mg kg(-1) in the uppermost layer. The plant community develops As tolerance by exclusion strategies. Of the plant species growing in the most polluted site, the shrubs Salix atrocinerea Brot. and Genista scorpius (L.) DC. exhibit the lowest bioaccumulation factor (BF) values for their aerial parts, suggesting their suitability to be used with revegetation purposes. The species Scirpus holoschoenus L. highlights for its important potential to stabilise As at root level, accumulating As contents up to 3164 mg kg(-1).
    Environmental Pollution 06/2011; 159(10):2637-47. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An extensive and remote gold mining region located in the East of Venezuela has been studied with the aim of assessing the distribution and mobility of mercury in soil and the level of Hg pollution at artisanal gold mining sites. To do so, soils and pond sediments were sampled at sites not subject to anthropological influence, as well as in areas affected by gold mining activities. Total Hg in regionally distributed soils ranged between 0.02 mg kg(-1) and 0.40 mg kg(-1), with a median value of 0.11 mg kg(-1), which is slightly higher than soil Hg worldwide, possibly indicating long-term atmospheric input or more recent local atmospheric input, in addition to minor lithogenic sources. A reference Hg concentration of 0.33 mg kg(-1) is proposed for the detection of mining affected soils in this region. Critical total Hg concentrations were found in the surrounding soils of pollutant sources, such as milling-amalgamation sites, where soil Hg contents ranged from 0.16 mg kg(-1) to 542 mg kg(-1) with an average of 26.89 mg kg(-1), which also showed high levels of elemental Hg, but quite low soluble+exchangeable Hg fraction (0.02-4.90 mg kg(-1)), suggesting low Hg soil mobility and bioavailability, as confirmed by soil column leaching tests. The vertical distribution of Hg through the soil profiles, as well as variations in soil Hg contents with distance from the pollution source, and Hg in pond mining sediments were also analysed.
    Journal of Environmental Management 04/2011; 92(4):1268-76. · 3.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Arsenopyrite-rich wastes from abandoned tungsten and tin exploitations were studied to determine the composition and characteristics of the secondary phases formed under natural weathering conditions so as to assess their potential environmental risk. Representative weathered arsenopyrite-bearing rock wastes collected from the mine dumps were analysed using the following techniques: X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) analysis, polarizing microscopy analysis, electron microprobe analysis (EMPA) and microRaman and Mössbauer spectroscopies. Scorodite, pharmacosiderite and amorphous ferric arsenates (AFA) with Fe/As molar ratios in the range 1.2-2.5 were identified as secondary arsenic products. The former showed to be the most abundant and present in the different studied mining areas. Its chemical composition showed to vary in function of the original surrounding rock mineralogy in such a way that phosphoscorodite was found as the mineral variety present in apatite-containing geoenvirons. Other ever-present weathering phases were goethite and hydrous ferric oxides (HFO), displaying, respectively, As retained amounts about 1 and 20% (expressed as As(2)O(5)). The low solubility of scorodite, the relatively low content of AFA and the formation of compounds of variable charge, mostly of amorphous nature, with high capacity to adsorb As attenuate importantly the dispersion of this element into the environment from these arsenopyrite-bearing wastes.
    Journal of hazardous materials 02/2011; 186(1):590-601. · 4.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Animal studies have shown the reproductive toxicity of a number of heavy metals. Very few human observational studies have analyzed the relationship between male reproductive function and heavy metal concentrations in diverse biological fluids. The current study assessed the associations between seminal and hormonal parameters and the concentration of the 3 most frequent heavy metal toxicants (lead, cadmium and mercury) in three different body fluids. Sixty one men attending infertility clinics that participated in a case-control study to explore the role of environmental toxins and lifestyles on male infertility were analyzed. Concentration of lead, cadmium and mercury were measured in blood and seminal plasma and whole blood using anodic stripping voltammetry and atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Serum samples were analyzed for follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone and testosterone. Semen analyses were performed according to World Health Organization criteria. Mann-Whitney test and Spearman's rank correlations were used for unadjusted analyses. Multiple linear regression models were performed controlling for age, body mass index and number of cigarettes per day. There were no significant differences between cases and controls in the concentrations of heavy metals in any of the three body fluids. In multivariate analyses using all subjects no significant associations were found between serum hormone levels and metal concentrations. However there was a significant positive association between the percentage of immotile sperms and seminal plasma levels of lead and cadmium. Our results suggest that the presence of lead and cadmium in the reproductive tract of men may be related to a moderate alteration of their seminal parameters.
    Environmental Health 01/2011; 10(1):6. · 2.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The mobility and phytoavailability of arsenic in an area affected by the abandoned exploitation of an arsenical tungsten–tin deposit was studied to establish the current and eventual environmental risks and to propose possible remediation practices. Soil and plant samples were collected at different distances from the polluting sources and analyzed for their As content and distribution. Critical soil total concentrations of As were found, with values in the range 175–2300mgkg−1. The readily labile As contents represent
    Geoderma 01/2011; 166(1):153-161. · 2.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The drying process of fresh plant materials may affect the porous structure, dehydration and a number of quality characteristics of these materials. Therefore, this study has investigated the effect of different drying processes on the variation of metal and metalloid concentrations in the dried plant materials. Seven varieties of native plant species collected from São Domingos mine were analyzed by instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) to investigate the effects of freeze-drying (FD), ambient air-drying (AAD) and oven-drying (OD) process on the concentrations of metals and metalloids in the plant biomass. Comparison of ambient air-dried, oven-dried and freeze-dried preparations allows a phenomenological description of the dehydration artefacts. In the quantitative analysis of metals and metalloids, FD and OD plant samples show the higher concentrations of metals and metalloids when compared to those in the AAD plant biomass. The freeze-drying process is comparatively reliable for determination of metals and metalloids concentrations in plant materials. KeywordsNeutron activation analysis–Drying processes–Plant biomass–Metals and metalloids concentration–Dehydration
    Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 01/2011; 289(1):29-34. · 1.47 Impact Factor
  • A García-Sánchez, P Alonso-Rojo, F Santos-Francés
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    ABSTRACT: High levels of total and bioavailable As in soils in mining areas may lead to the potential contamination of surface water and groundwater, being toxic to human, plants, and animals. The soils in the studied area (Province of Salamanca, Spain) recorded a total As concentration that varied from 5.5mg/kg to 150mg/kg, and water-soluble As ranged from 0.004mg/kg to 0.107mg/kg, often exceeding the guideline limits for agricultural soil (50mg/kg total As, 0.04mg/kg water-soluble As). The range of As concentration in pond water was <0.001microg/l-60microg/l, with 40% of samples exceeding the maximum permissible level (10microg/l) for drinking water. Estimated bioavailable As in soil varied from 0.045mg/kg to 0.760mg/kg, around six times higher than water-soluble As fraction, which may pose a high potential risk in regard to its entry into food chain. Soil column leaching tests show an As potential mobility constant threatening water contamination by continuous leaching. The vertical distribution of As through soil profiles suggests a deposition mechanism of this element on the top-soils that involves the wind or water transport of mine tailings. A similar vertical distribution of As and organic matter (OM) contents in soil profiles, as well as, significant correlations between As concentrations and OM and N contents, suggests that type and content of soil OM are major factors for determining the content, distribution, and mobilization of As in the soil. Due to the low supergenic mobility of this element in mining environments, the soil pollution degree in the studied area is moderate, in spite of the elevated As contents in mine tailings.
    Science of The Total Environment 09/2010; 408(19):4194-201. · 3.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Natural soils without apparent human influence were selected to determine the background concentration of Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn, Cr, and Ni. Reference concentrations of soil heavy metals are necessary for assessing the degree of metal pollution affected by anthropogenic activities and inputs. Samples of uncultivated (i.e., native) soils were collected from central-western Spain. For each element studied, the anomaly thresholds, ‘upper whisker,’ and baseline concentrations were calculated. For each main soil group—Luvisols (Alfisols), Cambisols (Inceptisols) and Leptosols/Regosols (Entisols)—the mean contents and baseline concentrations were also reported. Results of these analyses indicated total soil contents were within the normal global range. Geometric mean contents (mg kg−1) were: Cd, 0.21; Cr, 20.4; Cu, 14.4; Ni, 25.7; Pb, 34.7; and Zn, 42.6. A study on the metal cation available contents (extraction with 1 M ammonium acetate) was also conducted, since total contents in affected soils are only indicative of the pollution degree but not of the real risks involved. Risks of pollution of waters and to human health through food chain transfer are determined by the mobility and availability of elements. Relationships between element concentration and some pedological parameters were also determined, as well as element translocation through the soil profile, and the relationship between available to bound (i.e., free Fe oxyhydroxide fractions) forms. A factorial analysis was performed to determine which factors govern soil metal distribution. Soil forming factor that mainly determined the total contents in soils was the nature of the parent rock. Thus, chalcophile elements, Cu, Zn, Cd, and Pb, were more abundant in soils developed from slates of the palaeozoic basement, which contain abundant pyrite, while siderophile elements, Cr and Ni, were more abundant in soils derived from Fe-rich materials, such as clay-rich Tertiary sediments.
    Arid Land Research and Management 08/2010; July-September 2004(Vol. 18):241-250. · 0.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The sequential chemical extraction procedure (SCEP) is a very useful technique as an indirect measurement for arsenic (As) fractionation in soils and sediments. However, SCEP can produce variations in results due to sample conditions, types of samples, and extracting reagents used. Therefore, this study has evaluated the SCEP for determination of As in subsurface sediments using different sample treatments and extractants. When the same amounts of dry and wet sediment samples were treated with 6N HCl, the dry sediment samples released more As than wet sediments, reflecting that the drying process causes the increase of leachable As pool and dispersion of As from one phase to another (e.g., sulphide, silicate, and organic phase to oxide phase). This is presumed due to the moderation (i.e., change) of the oxide, organic, sulphide, silicate, and residual phases of As in sediments. Furthermore, the dry sediment (without HCl treatment) released more As than the wet samples (without HCl treatment) from the oxide phase; however, the dry samples released less As than the wet samples from the organic and silicate-sulphide phases. The results suggest that the SCEP conducted using dry and wet sediment samples doesn't reproduce the same results due to changes in redox conditions, organic matter re-mineralization, and net desorption reactions resulting in phase dispersion during drying of sediments. The sequential leaching of As using wet and dried sediments showed that 6N HCl can leach not only reactive phase of As from (1) oxide phase of Fe and Mn, but also from (2) organic phase and (3) silicate-sulphide phase. There was a significant amount of As in the silicate-sulphide phase.
    Soil and Sediment Contamination 03/2010; 19(2):133-141. · 0.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An abandoned cinnabar mining area located in the South-West of Spain has been studied with the aim of assessing its mercury pollution level and enhancing the knowledge about the Hg soil/plant relationship. To do so, soils and plants were sampled near an inactive smelter and around two mining sites present in this area. Critical total Hg concentrations were found in the close environs of pollutant sources. These also show high levels of elemental Hg (up to 8 mg kg(-1)), but quite low exchangeable Hg contents (0.008-0.038 mg kg(-1)). Most plant specimens display in their aboveground tissues Hg concentrations comprised in the range 0.1-10 mg kg(-1), with a great proportion (50%) showing critical levels. Greater Hg contents were found in plant specimens growing in soils with higher elemental Hg concentrations. The plant species displaying the greatest Hg levels are either perennial species of small-medium size and/or showing medium-highly corrugated leaves, or annual plants of small size. Marrubium vulgare L., Bromus madritensis L. and Trifolium angustifolium L. are the plant species with the highest Hg contents (37.6, 12.7 and 9.0 mg kg(-1), respectively). Leaf specific surface seems an important feature in the atmospheric Hg uptake by plants.
    Journal of hazardous materials 04/2009; 168(2-3):1319-24. · 4.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The study was carried out in an intensively cultivated agricultural area of central Spain where high arsenic (As) concentrations in groundwater were previously reported. The concentrations and distribution of As in soils and crops (wheat, potato, sugar beet and carrot) were determined to know the effect of irrigation with As-rich groundwater in the agricultural fields, and to estimate its impact on the food chain contamination. Irrigation water shows high As concentrations ranging between 38 and 136 microg/l. Total As contents in the studied agricultural soils are higher than 10 mg/kg exceeding the As content in two control areas and the results of this study reflect that irrigation with As-rich groundwater led to the elevated As levels in the agricultural soils. Total As concentration in soils of a sugar beet plot (36 mg/kg) is higher than that found in soils of the less intensively watered field (11 mg/kg), and more than 3.5 times higher than that in the soils of the control area irrigated with uncontaminated water (<10 mg/kg). Water soluble As in soils ranges between 0.03 and 0.9 mg/kg exceeding the limit of 0.04 mg/kg for agricultural use and shows a significant correlation with total As and organic matter (OM) content in soils. Arsenic contents in potato tuber samples are 35 times higher than that measured in potato tuber of uncontaminated control sites (0.03 mg/kg). Elevated As contents (3.9-5.4 mg/kg DW) were also found in root samples of sugar beet. The As contents in vegetable samples are higher than As content (0.1 mg/kg DW) in plants of uncontaminated control areas, and the limits for foodstuffs (0.5-1 mg/kg DW) set by legislation of many countries reflecting the risk of food chain contamination by As in this study area.
    Journal of Environmental Monitoring 03/2009; 11(3):498-502. · 2.09 Impact Factor
  • E Alvarez-Ayuso, A García-Sánchez, X Querol, A Moyano
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    ABSTRACT: The long-term influence of the Aznalcóllar mine spill on soils was studied seven years after the accident in the area of Vado del Quema. Soils where the pyritic sludge was not removed after the cleaning operations and soils where this process was accomplished successfully were sampled and studied in detail. Sludge and soil horizons were characterised, determining their physico-chemical parameters, mineralogy and the total concentrations of major and trace elements. Moreover, leaching studies were performed using batch tests. The main mineralogical changes detected in the soil beneath the weathered sludge are the neo-formation of jarosite, gypsum and sainfeldite, together with the almost total depletion of calcite. An important acidification of soil has been also produced, especially in the uppermost soil layers. These two factors show to be the main responsible for the vertical distribution and leachability displayed by trace elements. Critical total concentrations were found for most trace elements in the soil still affected by the sludge weathering. Furthermore, the Cd and Zn leachable contents showed to be extremely high. Therefore, in those areas affected by the mine spill where the removal of sludge was not accomplished properly, special care should be paid to trace elements highly mobile in acidic conditions. Additional restoration measures should be undertaken to avoid further pollutant dispersion.
    Chemosphere 10/2008; 73(8):1240-6. · 3.14 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

500 Citations
100.47 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2007–2013
    • Spanish National Research Council
      • • Institute of Natural Resources and Agrobiology of Salamanca
      • • Institute of Earth Sciences Jaume Almera
      Hispalis, Andalusia, Spain
  • 2004–2012
    • Universidad de Cartagena
      Cartagena de Indias, Bolívar, Colombia
  • 2009
    • Universidad de Valladolid
      Valladolid, Castille and León, Spain
  • 2006
    • Universidad de Salamanca
      Helmantica, Castille and León, Spain