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Long-term assessment of ecological risk from deposition of elemental pollutants in the vicinity of the industrial area of Puchuncaví-Ventanas, central Chile

Salmanighabeshi, Soroush, Palomo-Marín, M.Rosario, Bernalte, Elena, Rueda-Holgado, Fernando, Miró-Rodríguez, Conrado, Fadic-Ruiz, Ximena, Vidal-Cortez, Víctor, Cereceda-Balic, Francisco, Pinilla-Gil, Eduardo
The Science of the total environment 2015 v.527-528 pp. 335-343
antimony, arsenic, barium, cadmium, case studies, chromium, cluster analysis, coal, cobalt, copper, environmental assessment, lead, manganese, mercury, monitoring, nickel, pollutants, power plants, remediation, risk, soil pollution, strontium, zinc, Chile
The present work investigates soil pollution by elemental contaminants and compares ecological risk indexes related to industrial activities for the case study of Puchuncaví-Ventanas: a relevant industrial zone located in central Chile. Selected elements (As, Pb, Cd, Ni, Hg, V, Mn, Zn, Sr, Sb, Cr, Co, Cu, K, and Ba) were analyzed during a long-term period (yearly sampling campaigns during 2007–2011), at 5 sampling stations representing different degrees of impact. PCA and cluster analysis allowed identifying a copper smelter and a coal-fired power plant complex as major pollution sources. Geoaccumulation index (Igeo), enrichment factor (EF), contamination factor (Cf), contamination degree (Cdeg), and integrated pollution index (IPI) are critically discussed for quantitative ecological risk assessment. Igeo, EF and Cf indexes are producing comparable environmental information, showing moderate to high pollution risks in the area that demands further monitoring and adoption of prevention and remediation measures.Long term assessment of elemental pollution around an industrial area. New insight on ecological risk indexes for trace element pollution in soils, by critical comparison among them.