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Article

Old and New Threats—Trace Metals and Fluoride Contamination in Soils at Defunct Smithy Sites

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Institute of Socio-Economic Geography and Spatial Management, University of Szczecin, Mickiewicza St. 18, 70-383 Szczecin, Poland
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Department of Environmental Protection and Development, West Pomeranian University of Technology, Słowackiego 17 St., 71-434 Szczecin, Poland
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Institute of Marine and Environmental Sciences, University of Szczecin, Wąska 13 St., 71-415 Szczecin, Poland
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Department of Biochemistry and Human Nutrition, Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin, Broniewskiego 24 St., 71-460 Szczecin, Poland
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Department of Biochemistry and Medical Chemistry, Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin, Powstańców Wlkp. 72 Str., 70-111 Szczecin, Poland
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Institute of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, Kościelna 13 St., 41-200 Sosnowiec, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(5), 819; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16050819
Received: 14 January 2019 / Revised: 26 February 2019 / Accepted: 28 February 2019 / Published: 6 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Harmful Effects of Fluoride Exposure)
The aim of this study was to investigate soil contamination with trace elements and fluoride at sites in Szczecin (NW Poland) where economic activity was historically associated with the use of trace metals. As the Polish legislation does not recognize the lasting impact of historical pollution on soils, land developers are not obliged to determine soil pollution in the new residential areas, including parks and playgrounds for children. Therefore, in this study, at the locations of defunct metalwork enterprises (smithies, foundries, chemical plants, and small metal production plants), which were closed down after World War II, we determined lead (Pb), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni), mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), and cobalt (Co) levels in the soil. In addition, we also determined fluoride (F) levels due to the contemporary fluoride pollution in the area generated by a large chemical plant with a post-production phosphogypsum waste landfill and a power plant complex. Our results show that soil at the sites of now-defunct smithies can still act as a significant source of trace metals. Pb concentration in the surface (0–20 cm) and subsurface (20–40 cm) layers exceeded concentration thresholds for soils with first-degree pollution. The concentrations of Zn and Cu also exceeded their natural background limits. Furthermore, our research indicates an increased concentration of fluoride in surface layers of the soil; however, not exceeding the fluoride content threshold. These observations have important consequences for public health and safety because, presently, the studied sites function as housing estates and other public facilities. Therefore, contaminated soil at these sites may pose a threat to the health of local residents and should be closely monitored for trace metal contamination levels. View Full-Text
Keywords: trace metals; fluorides; urban soil pollution; historical industry trace metals; fluorides; urban soil pollution; historical industry
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kupiec, M.; Pieńkowski, P.; Bosiacka, B.; Gutowska, I.; Kupnicka, P.; Prokopowicz, A.; Chlubek, D.; Baranowska-Bosiacka, I. Old and New Threats—Trace Metals and Fluoride Contamination in Soils at Defunct Smithy Sites. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 819. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16050819

AMA Style

Kupiec M, Pieńkowski P, Bosiacka B, Gutowska I, Kupnicka P, Prokopowicz A, Chlubek D, Baranowska-Bosiacka I. Old and New Threats—Trace Metals and Fluoride Contamination in Soils at Defunct Smithy Sites. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2019; 16(5):819. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16050819

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kupiec, Michał, Paweł Pieńkowski, Beata Bosiacka, Izabela Gutowska, Patrycja Kupnicka, Adam Prokopowicz, Dariusz Chlubek, and Irena Baranowska-Bosiacka. 2019. "Old and New Threats—Trace Metals and Fluoride Contamination in Soils at Defunct Smithy Sites" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 16, no. 5: 819. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16050819

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