Distribution and sources of mercury in soils from former industrialized urban areas of Beijing, China

State Key Lab of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100085, China.
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment (Impact Factor: 1.68). 11/2008; 158(1-4):507-17. DOI: 10.1007/s10661-008-0600-3
Source: PubMed


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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