Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(8), 3100-3114; doi:10.3390/ijerph7083100
Article

Comparative Assessment of Soil Contamination by Lead and Heavy Metals in Riparian and Agricultural Areas (Southern Québec, Canada)

1 Géographie et Laboratoire de recherche en géomorphologie fluviale et sols, UQTR, 3351, boul. des Forges, C.P. 500, Trois-Rivières, QCG9A 5H7, Canada 2 UQTR, Département de Chimie et Biologie, Sciences de l’Environnement, C.P. 500, Trois-Rivières, QC G9A 5H7, Canada 3 Environnement et Développement durable, Ville de Trois-Rivières, C.P. 368, Trois-Rivières, QC G9A 5H3, Canada
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 June 2010; in revised form: 29 July 2010 / Accepted: 2 August 2010 / Published: 5 August 2010
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Abstract: Soils contaminated with hydrocarbons (C10–C50), PAHS, lead and other heavy metals were recently found in the banks of two major rivers in southern Québec. Alluvial soils are contaminated over a distance of 100 kilometers. Eight sampling sites, including some located in agriculture areas (farm woodlots) have been selected to compare air pollution (aerosol fallout and rainout) and river pollution values. The concentrations detected in soil profiles for As, Cd and Pb vary between 3.01 to 37.88 mg kg−1 (As), 0.11 to 0.81 mg kg−1 (Cd) 12.32 to 149.13 mg kg−1 (Pb). These metallic elements are considered highly toxic and can harm wildlife and human health at high levels. The maximum concentration of Pb (149.13 mg kg−1) in soils of the riparian zone is twelve times higher than the average Pb concentration found in a natural state evaluated at 15.3 mg kg−1 (SD 17.5). Pb concentrations in soils of agricultural areas (woodland control sites) range between 12 and 22 mg kg−1, and given that these values are recorded in surrounding cultivated land, the issue of the quality of agricultural products (crops and forage) to feed livestock or destined for human consumption must be further addressed in detail.
Keywords: contamined soils; riparian and agricultural zones; abandoned mines; hydrocarbons-layer; lead and heavy metals; wildlife and human health

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MDPI and ACS Style

Saint-Laurent, D.; Hähni, M.; St-Laurent, J.; Baril, F. Comparative Assessment of Soil Contamination by Lead and Heavy Metals in Riparian and Agricultural Areas (Southern Québec, Canada). Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7, 3100-3114.

AMA Style

Saint-Laurent D, Hähni M, St-Laurent J, Baril F. Comparative Assessment of Soil Contamination by Lead and Heavy Metals in Riparian and Agricultural Areas (Southern Québec, Canada). International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2010; 7(8):3100-3114.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Saint-Laurent, Diane; Hähni, Marlies; St-Laurent, Julien; Baril, Francis. 2010. "Comparative Assessment of Soil Contamination by Lead and Heavy Metals in Riparian and Agricultural Areas (Southern Québec, Canada)." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 7, no. 8: 3100-3114.

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