, Volume 135, Issue 1-4, pp 173-194

Assessment of the Contamination of Cultivated Soils by Eighteen Trace Elements Around Smelters in the North of France

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Ag, As, Bi, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Hg, In, Ni, Pb, Sb, Se, Sn,Tl, Th, U and Zn contamination of cultivated surfacehorizons has been assessed around two lead and zincsmelters in the North of France. The verticaldistribution of Ag, As, Bi, Cu, Hg, Se, Sb and Tl inthe soils has also been examined. The soils around thelead and zinc smelter at Noyelles-Godault arecontaminated by Ag, As, Bi, Cd, Cu, Hg, In, Ni, Pb, Sb,Se, Sn, Tl and Zn. The original concentration in themost contaminated soils may be multiplied by a factorof around 2 to 100, according to the element. Cadmium,Pb and Zn are the most abundant contaminants. The Pband Zn concentrations are correlated to those of theother contaminants, with the exception of Se. Aroundthe Auby zinc smelter, there is a contamination by thesame elements, but in different proportions, inaddition to Cr contamination. Contamination by Se canreach a depth of around 1 m, whereas contamination byAg, As, Bi, Cu, Hg, Sb and Tl is confined to the top 30cm. Although the contaminant content in most soilsdepends on the distance from the plant, Secontamination would appear to vary to a greater extentaccording to the physico-chemical soil conditions.