Volume 10, 2006, pp 53-68

Evaluation of Heavy Metal Availability in the Mining Areas of Bulgaria

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Abstract

This experiment is a comparative study of the efficiency of 12 different extractants in determining the movable and easily assimilated by plants forms of lead and cadmium in a region polluted by the ore mining industry. The main part of both elements is blocked in slightly soluble compounds, and thus they can barely be reached by plants. Both the total quantity and the movable forms of lead and cadmium depend mainly on the possibility of oxidizing processes occurring in the soil and on the transformation of the major pollutants - PbS and CdS in compounds with higher solubility. This leads to their mechanical removal due to their getting into the soil solution or their adsorption and remaining in an exchangeable form in some of the soil components. The concentration of lead and cadmium in the plant species, typical for the investigated region, show that the risk assessment in using soils, contaminated by heavy metals, for agricultural activities cannot be based solely on the data regarding the total amount of these elements. Particularly important is their form, as well as the percentage of exchangeable forms, assimilable by the plants