Concentrations and chemical fractions of Cu, Zn, Cd, and Pb at ten metallurgical sites in China.Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2019 Feb; 26(4):3603-3611.ES
Metal pollution in urban soils due to smelting and electroplating has become a severe problem in China. In this study, the concentration, chemical fraction, and leaching behavior of typical metals (Cu, Zn, Cd, and Pb) in soil samples from ten metallurgical sites were studied. The results show that some of the soils were polluted with Cu and most were heavily polluted with multiple metals, especially Zn, Cd, and Pb. The average concentration of Cu, Zn, Cd, and Pb was 498, 4145, 89, and 5091 mg/kg, respectively. Chemical fractionation revealed that Cu, Zn, Cd, and Pb were mainly present in the acid-soluble fraction in polluted soils, but predominated in the residual fraction in unpolluted soils, demonstrating that allogenic metals in the soils were mostly present in the more labile fractions. Toxicity characteristic leaching procedure results were in agreement with the chemical fractionation study, indicating that the higher the total metal content, the higher the leachability, mobility, bioavailability, and potential toxicity to the environment, especially groundwater. Use of chemical fractionation results instead of total metal concentrations would provide better insight into the distribution and binding forms of metals for better assessment of their mobility and bioavailability. The study would provide much more important information for developing better remediation strategies for contaminated sites.