Article

Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 186, Issue 8, pp 4753-4765

First online:

Distribution and assessment of Pb in the supergene environment of the Huainan Coal Mining Area, Anhui, China

  • Ting FangAffiliated withCAS Key Laboratory of Crust-Mantle Materials and Environment, School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of ChinaState Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, The Chinese Academy of SciencesUniversity of Science and Technology of China–City University of Hong Kong Joint Advanced Research CentreState Key Laboratory in Marine Pollution and Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong
  • , Guijian LiuAffiliated withCAS Key Laboratory of Crust-Mantle Materials and Environment, School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of ChinaState Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, The Chinese Academy of SciencesUniversity of Science and Technology of China–City University of Hong Kong Joint Advanced Research Centre Email author 
  • , Chuncai ZhouAffiliated withCAS Key Laboratory of Crust-Mantle Materials and Environment, School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of ChinaState Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, The Chinese Academy of SciencesUniversity of Science and Technology of China–City University of Hong Kong Joint Advanced Research CentreState Key Laboratory in Marine Pollution and Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong
  • , Zijiao YuanAffiliated withCAS Key Laboratory of Crust-Mantle Materials and Environment, School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of ChinaState Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, The Chinese Academy of SciencesUniversity of Science and Technology of China–City University of Hong Kong Joint Advanced Research Centre
  • , Paul Kwan Sing LamAffiliated withUniversity of Science and Technology of China–City University of Hong Kong Joint Advanced Research CentreState Key Laboratory in Marine Pollution and Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong

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Abstract

Coal mining area is highly subject to lead (Pb) pollution from coal mining activities. Several decades of coal mining and processing practices in dozens of coal mines in the Huainan Coal Mining Area (HCMA) have led to the accumulation of massive amounts of coal gangue, which piled in dumps. In order to investigate the impacts of coal gangue dumps on Pb level in the supergene media of the HCMA, a systematic sampling campaign comprising coal gangue, soil, wheat, and earthworm samples was conducted. The average Pb content in the coal mining area soil is 24 mg/kg, which is slightly higher than the associated coal gangues (23 mg/kg) and markedly higher than reference region soil (12.6 mg/kg). Soil in the HCMA present a slight to moderate Pb contamination, which might be related to the weathering and leaching of coal gangue dumps. Lateral distribution of Pb in HCMA soil differed among individual coal mines. The soil profile distribution of Pb depends on both natural and anthropogenic contributions. Average Pb content is higher in roots than in stems, leaves, and wheat husks, while the Pb level in seeds exceeded the maximum Pb allowance for foods (Maximum Levels of Contaminants in Foods of China, GB 2762–2012). Earthworms in the selected area are significantly enriched in Pb, suggesting higher bio-available Pb level in soil in the HCMA.

Keywords

Pb Huainan coal mining area Distribution Assessment Supergene environment