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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(12), 1475; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14121475

Risk Assessment and Source Identification of 17 Metals and Metalloids on Soils from the Half-Century Old Tungsten Mining Areas in Lianhuashan, Southern China

1
School of Environmental Studies, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China
2
The Center of Environmental Engineering and Assessment, No. 203 Research Institute of Nuclear Industry, Xianyang 712000, China
3
School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 October 2017 / Revised: 22 November 2017 / Accepted: 27 November 2017 / Published: 29 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Pollution and Public Health)
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Abstract

Background: Mining activities always emit metal(loid)s into the surrounding environment, where their accumulation in the soil may pose risks and hazards to humans and ecosystems. Objective: This paper aims to determine of the type, source, chemical form, fate and transport, and accurate risk assessment of 17 metal(loid) contaminants including As, Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn, Cr, Ag, B, Bi, Co, Mo, Sb, Ti, V, W and Sn in the soils collected from an abandoned tungsten mining area, and to guide the implementing of appropriate remediation strategies. Methods: Contamination factors (CFs) and integrated pollution indexes (IPIs) and enrichment factors (EFs) were used to assess their ecological risk and the sources were identified by using multivariate statistics analysis, spatial distribution investigation and correlation matrix. Results: The IPI and EF values indicated the soils in the mine site and the closest downstream one were extremely disturbed by metal(loid)s such as As, Bi, W, B, Cu, Pb and Sn, which were emitted from the mining wastes and acid drainages and delivered by the runoff and human activities. Arsenic contamination was detected in nine sites with the highest CF values at 24.70 next to the mining site. The Cd contamination scattered in the paddy soils around the resident areas with higher fraction of bioavailable forms, primarily associated with intense application of phosphorus fertilizer. The lithogenic elements V, Ti, Ag, Ni, Sb, Mo exhibit low contamination in all sampling points and their distribution were depended on the soil texture and pedogenesis process. Conclusions: The long term historical mining activities have caused severe As contamination and higher enrichment of the other elements of orebody in the local soils. The appropriate remediation treatment approach should be proposed to reduce the bioavailability of Cd in the paddy soils and to immobilize As to reclaim the soils around the mining site. Furthermore, alternative fertilizing way and irrigating water sources are urgencies to reduce the input of Cd and As into the local soils effectively. View Full-Text
Keywords: abandoned tungsten mine; metals and metalloids; risk assessment; multivariate geostatistics; chemical fractionation abandoned tungsten mine; metals and metalloids; risk assessment; multivariate geostatistics; chemical fractionation
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Guo, L.; Zhao, W.; Gu, X.; Zhao, X.; Chen, J.; Cheng, S. Risk Assessment and Source Identification of 17 Metals and Metalloids on Soils from the Half-Century Old Tungsten Mining Areas in Lianhuashan, Southern China. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 1475.

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