ACCUMULATION AND MOBILE FORMS OF SOME HEAVY METALS IN ROADSIDE URBAN SOILS
Keywords:traffic pollution, urban environment, vegetation, soil properties, toxic elements
The accumulation of heavy metals and toxic elements in the topsoil horizon of urban areas is a big environmental problem as they could have long-term implications not only for the soils themselves but also on the human health and well-being. Many studies have shown that there is a clear relationship between the level of urbanization, volume of traffic, intensity of anthropogenic activities and heavy metal load.
We aimed to analyze the accumulation of heavy metals at urban roadside soils and to assess the proportion of their mobile forms. The total content and mobile forms of Cu, Mn, Pb and Zn in soils samples collected along the main boulevards of Plovdiv (Bulgaria) was determined by two instrumental methods - ICP-OES and ICP-MS.
The maximal concentrations were found in the Central and Eastern administrative regions of the city of Plovdiv. This finding well correlated with the wind rose characteristics and urban gradient theory. Our results revealed that the mobile forms of Mn represented 1.38-2.21% of total content and the mobile forms of Zn represented 8.48-11.81% of total content in studied urban soils. Mobile forms of Cu and Pb varied significantly and were in the range of 7.04-14.2% and 7.3-18.67% of the total content, respectively.
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