Effects of steel slag amendments on accumulation of cadmium and arsenic by rice (Oryza sativa) in a historically contaminated paddy field.Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2020 Nov; 27(32):40001-40008.ES
Paddy soil contamination by cadmium (Cd) and arsenic (As) is a great concern. Field experiments were conducted to study the effects of steel slag (SS, 2.0 and 4.0 t ha-1) on the solubility of Cd and As in soil and their accumulation by rice plants grown in a historically co-contaminated paddy field with Cd and As. The results showed that SS amendment (4.0 t ha-1) significantly decreased soluble concentrations of Cd in pore-water but increased that of As, related to markedly elevated soil pH and soluble silicon, phosphorus of pore-water in rice rhizosphere at both heading and mature stages. The amendments also evidently decreased Cd but enhanced As in iron plaque on root surfaces, while the formation of iron plaque was not significantly increased. Further, SS amendment (4.0 t ha-1) markedly reduced Cd concentrations in rice tissues (roots, straw, and brown rice) by 48-78% at both stages, though increased As by 13-38%. Cadmium translocation from roots to aerial parts decreased significantly after the amendments, but not for As. Besides, SS application increased the biomass of roots, straw and grains, and root antioxidant enzyme activities. Collectively, steel slag decreased Cd accumulation in rice tissues and in iron plaque but increased those of As, likely due to steel slag decreasing soluble Cd and enhancing soluble As in pore-water, related to soil pH and soluble nutrients (Si, P), and restraining Cd translocation within rice. Our results indicate that steel slag represents a favorable potential for Cd-contaminated paddy soils, though it seems undesirable for Cd and As co-contamination.