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HEAVY METALS IN SOILS NEAR AN INDUSTRIAL PLANT IN GALATI, ROMANIA: IMPLICATIONS FOR THE POPULATION HEALTH RISK

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Author(s): ALINA (BOSNEAGA) SION | ANTOANETA ENE | LUCIAN P. GEORGESCU

Journal: Journal of Science and Arts
ISSN 1844-9581

Volume: 16;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 299;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: heavy metals | enrichment factor | migration index | industrial soil pollution.

ABSTRACT
Decades of industrial activity and popularization have developed many environmental pollution problems. Due to the toxicity and the ability of heavy metals to accumulate in the biota, pollution with these elements is a serious problem. An important difference between these metals and other pollutants is the fact that these are not biodegradable. Information about the total concentration of the heavy metal alone is not sufficient to assess the environmental impact, being necessary to find ways to explain the metal behavior. The current study characterizes the migration index and enrichment factor of trace metals nearby an industrial site from Galati city, Romania. The quantitative analyzes were carried out by nuclear related technique X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) using a Niton XLt analyzer from 700 series and the following metals were chosen to be studied: As, Cr, Cu, Pb and Zn. These elements are specific pollutants for industrial sites; their concentrations exceed the legal norms in almost all the sampling points. The migration index (MI) value indicates a high or a low mobility of the element. Usually the MI depends on the pH values, the texture of the soil, the concentration of sulfur and (oxy)hidroxy Fe/Mn, the level of pollution etc. A high value of the enrichment factor (EF) indicates an anthropic origin of the metal. High values for EF where calculated for all the studied elements. These facts indicate that the pollution with As, Cr, Cu, Pb and Zn is serious and can affect the health of the population, by infiltrations in the underground waters and by atmospheric depositions.
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