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Open AccessArticle

Arsenic and Heavy Metal Accumulation and Risk Assessment in Soils around Mining Areas: The Urad Houqi Area in Arid Northwest China as an Example

1
State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China
2
Inner Mongolia Institute of Geological Environmental Monitoring, Hohhot 010020, China
3
Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Metallurgy Research Institute, Hohhot 010010, China
4
Key Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
5
Institute of Loess Plateau, Shanxi University, Taiyuan 030006, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2410; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112410
Received: 1 January 1970 / Revised: 18 October 2018 / Accepted: 27 October 2018 / Published: 30 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Collection Environmental Risk Assessment)
Mining activities make important contributions to economic growth, but they can also produce massive amounts of solid waste, such as tailings and metal accumulations. Taking the Urad Houqi mining area in Inner Mongolia as the study area, this study systematically assessed the contamination risk of arsenic and heavy metals in the soils of the study area and explored the contamination characteristics in a key polymetallic mining area. For the whole study area, based on the Nemerow comprehensive pollution method, almost half of the investigated sites were contaminated, and the most contaminated site was Urad Houqi Qianzhen Mineral Concentration Co., Ltd. (Bayannaoer, China), a cooperation between the lead and zinc mining industry. The assessment results indicated that Cd and As were the elements of greatest concern, followed by Pb, Cr and Hg. Particularly, for the typical Dongshengmiao mining area, when compared with the GB15618-1995 standard values, As, Zn and Cd posed the most serious contamination threat, while Cr and Ni exhibited clean conditions. In addition, the vertical distribution maps demonstrated that the contents of arsenic and metals in some soil profiles were correlated with sampling depth. Therefore, arsenic and heavy metals pose high threat to soil ecosystems in this area, there is encouragement for some control and remediation measures to be taken into effect. View Full-Text
Keywords: mineral mining; metal contamination; risk assessment mineral mining; metal contamination; risk assessment
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MDPI and ACS Style

Song, S.; Li, Y.; Li, L.; Liu, M.; Li, J.; Wang, L.; Su, C. Arsenic and Heavy Metal Accumulation and Risk Assessment in Soils around Mining Areas: The Urad Houqi Area in Arid Northwest China as an Example. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 2410. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112410

AMA Style

Song S, Li Y, Li L, Liu M, Li J, Wang L, Su C. Arsenic and Heavy Metal Accumulation and Risk Assessment in Soils around Mining Areas: The Urad Houqi Area in Arid Northwest China as an Example. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2018; 15(11):2410. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112410

Chicago/Turabian Style

Song, Shuai; Li, Yuanjie; Li, Lin; Liu, Maoyong; Li, Jing; Wang, Liang; Su, Chao. 2018. "Arsenic and Heavy Metal Accumulation and Risk Assessment in Soils around Mining Areas: The Urad Houqi Area in Arid Northwest China as an Example" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 15, no. 11: 2410. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112410

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