Characterization and origin of organic and inorganic pollution in urban soils in Pisa (Tuscany, Italy).Environ Monit Assess. 2017 Oct 12; 189(11):554.EM
We assessed the quality of 31 urban soils in Pisa by analyzing total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs), Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Zn, and the platinum group elements (PGEs). The risk was evaluated by the geological accumulation index (I geo) and the enrichment factor (EF). Results were compared with those obtained from a non-urban site and with the quantitative limits fixed by Italian legislation. In nearly all the monitored sites, the legal limit for TPH of 60 mg/kg in residential areas was exceeded, indicating widespread and intense pollution throughout the entire city area. The I geo indicated no Cd, Cu, Mn, Ni, and Zn pollution and minimal Pb and Cr pollution due to anthropogenic enrichment. Legal Hg and Zn limits of 1 and 150 mg/kg, respectively, were exceeded in about 20% of sites; Cd (2 mg/kg), Cr (150 mg/kg), and Cu (120 mg/kg) in only one site; and the Ni legal limit of 120 mg/kg was never exceeded. Some urban soils showed a higher Hg level than the more restrictive legal limit of 5 mg/kg concerning areas for industrial use. Based on the soluble, exchangeable, and carbonate-bound fractions, Mn and Zn showed the highest mobility, suggesting a more potential risk of soil contamination than the other metals. The TPH and both Cr and Hg amounts were not correlated with any of the other monitored metals. The total contents of Cd, Pb, Zn, and Cu in soils were positively correlated with each other, suggesting a common origin from vehicular traffic. The PGE values (Pt and Pd) were below the detection limits in 75%-90% of the monitored areas, suggesting that their accumulation is at an early stage.