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Accumulation of De-icing Salts and Its Short-Term Effect on Metal Mobility in Urban Roadside Soils

Li, Fayun, Zhang, Ying, Fan, Zhiping, Oh, Kokyo
Bulletin of environmental contamination and toxicology 2015 v.94 no.4 pp. 525-531
cadmium, colloids, heavy metals, iron, leaching, lead, rain, roadside soils, runoff, salts, snowmelt, sodium, China
In this study, a field investigation combined with a laboratory column leaching experiment were carried out to assess the effects of de-icing salts application on the heavy metal mobilization in roadside soils in an old and large industrial zone in Northeastern China. In the field investigation, 41 roadside soils were collected from the industrial zone, and the results showed a strong rise in deicing salts related concentrations of Na (352–513 mg/kg) and Cl (577–2,353 mg/kg) and high values of Cd (1.2–7.6 mg/kg) and Pb (28.7–101.6 mg/kg). The most serious contaminated roadside soil was used for column leaching experiment alternately with de-icing salts solution and deionized water to simulate the runoff of de-icing salts into roadside soils followed by snowmelt or rainwater. The results showed that an extensive mobilization of Cd (20.90 % of the total Cd in the soil) occurred in the salt leachate, and a high correlation with Cl were found, indicating that Cl complexes are important for the mobilization. Conversely, only 2.34 % of the total amount of Pb in the soil was leached, confirming the usual hypotheses about the high immobility of Pb in soils. However, it was found that high Pb concentration coincided with peaks in Fe and TOC concentrations, and the proportion of Pb in the >0.45 µm phase was much low, which implied an extensive Pb mobilization with small-sized colloids.