Pollution Assessment of Potentially Toxic Elements (PTEs) in Soils around the Yanzhuang Gold Mine Tailings Pond, Pinggu County, Beijing, China.Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 07 06; 18(14)IJ
The accumulation of tailings from gold mining and smelting may result in PTE pollution. We investigated PTE contamination from a large amalgamated gold mine tailings pond in Pinggu County, Beijing. In November 2017, 30 soil samples were collected around the tailings pond. The concentrations and pollution degree of PTEs in the samples and the sources of Sb, As, Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn and Hg were analyzed. The average concentration of these elements in soil samples near the tailings pond (16.24, 28.29, 0.99, 171.04, 263.25, 99.73, 0.72 mg/kg, respectively) were higher than their corresponding standard values and background values of the study area. The geoaccumulation index showed that the pollution degree of As, Pb and Hg was moderate, while Sb and Cu present non-pollution to moderate pollution. The average EF values of the elements were Sb (38.31), As (4.23), Cd (0.71), Cu (3.68), Pb (21.24), Zn (0.82) and Hg (5.29), respectively. The environmental risk assessment developed throughout the PERI method indicated that Sb, As, Hg and Pb were the main pollutants in the study area. The three quantitative risk indicators (RI, Igeo and EF) were positively correlated, and all of them indicated that PTEs had significant pollution to the local area. Thus, Sb, As, Pb, Cu, and Hg pollution should be highly concerning. Multivariate statistical analysis shows that the pollution of PTEs was mainly caused by the accumulation of tailings ponds after gold mining and smelting. The research result is of great significance for the prevention and control of soil pollution of PTEs near the tailings pond.