Heavy Metal Contamination of Soil in Copșa Mică Area

Edward MUNTEAN, Nicoleta MUNTEAN, Marcel DUDA

Abstract


Copșa Mică was one of the most polluted areas in Romania, well known also in Europe for its status. The heavy metal pollution was due to a factory for processing non-ferrous ores (S.C. Sometra S.A.), largely responsible for the most health problems of the local population due to its emissions of sulphur dioxide, solid particles in suspension and heavy metals. Soil contamination occurred, representing a high risk for environment and human health, in relation with the contaminated land use for agriculture. The situation changed after Sometra applied some measures for pollution’s reduction and after the official closure of the factory in 2009, hence it is important to find out which are the actual levels of contamination, especially on surfaces used for agriculture. In this research, the distribution of four heavy metals of high concern for environment and human health (Pb, Cu, Cd and Zn) was measured in several sites located in Copșa Mică area during 2009 and 2011, continuing a previous research. These heavy metals were determined using atomic absorption spectrophotometry, their measurement being performed using a Shimadzu AA-6300 double beam atomic absorption spectrophotometer, with both flame atomization and graphite furnace. The obtained data revealed the following ranges for the studied elements: 8.02 - 110.65 μg/kg for lead, 22.51 - 179.15 mg/kg for copper, 0.06 - 3.19 μg/kg for cadmium and 38.16 - 1842.11 mg/kg for zinc. The maximum lead concentrations were recorded in samples originating from Micasasa and Agarbiciu, while those for cadmium, zinc and copper were recorded in Copșa Mică.

Keywords


cadmium, copper, lead, zinc, soil, AAS.

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