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Chemical fraction, leachability, and bioaccessibility of heavy metals in contaminated soils, Northeast China

Yutong, Zong, Qing, Xiao, Shenggao, Lu
Environmental science and pollution research international 2016 v.23 no.23 pp. 24107-24114
EDTA (chelating agent), bioavailability, cadmium, chromium, copper, environmental management, heavy metals, human health, humans, ingestion, leaching, lead, polluted soils, risk, risk assessment, topsoil, toxicity, urban areas, urban soils, zinc, China, United States
Heavy metals in urban soils may pose risks to both urban environment and human health. However, only a fraction of heavy metals in soil is mobile and/or bioavailable for plant uptake and human ingestion. This study evaluates the chemical fraction and potential mobility and bioaccessibility of heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, and Zn) in the contaminated urban topsoils from steel-industrial city (Anshan), Northeastern China. Chemical forms of heavy metals in soils are determined using Tessier sequential extraction technique. The toxicity characteristic leaching procedure (TCLP), ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), and US Pharmacopeia methodology (USPM) are used to determine the operationally defined potentially mobile and bioaccessible metal fractions, respectively. Sequential extraction results show that Cd has the highest percentage of exchangeable form, whereas Cr primarily exists in residual form. The non-residual fraction of heavy metals increases in the order of Cr < Cu < Pb < Zn < Cd. The leachability of heavy metals evaluated by TCLP test indicates that Cd, Zn, Cu, and Pb have much higher mobile than Cr. The bioavailability of heavy metals determined by EDTA extraction decreases in the order of Pb > Cu ≅ Zn > Cd > Cr. The order of bioaccessibility determined by USPM extraction is Pb = Cu > Zn > Cd > Cr. The Cr exhibits the lowest leachability and bioaccessibility among the investigated metals. The Pb has the highest bioaccessibility, indicating higher potential hazard for the human health. There are significant relationships between the EDTA- and USPM-extractable metals (Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn) and the sum of first three steps of sequential extraction. Highly significant correlation is found between amounts of EDTA-extractable Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn and USPM-extractable metals. The result suggests that EDTA extraction can be helpful to estimate the bioaccessibility of heavy metals for human ingestion. Introduction of mobile and human bioaccessible concentrations into risk assessments can give more realistic implications for urban environmental management.