Minerals and the Environment

, Volume 5, Issue 2–3, pp 71–78 | Cite as

Soil and plant concentrations of cadmium and zinc in the vicinity of a smelter

  • M. E. Farago
  • J. T. Connell


Cadmium, zinc and lead concentrations in soils and plants near a smelter at Avonmouth are reported for samples collected in May 1979 and in May 1980. The total metal soil concentrations fall as distance from the smelter increases and decrease rapidly with depth for cadmium and zinc. The concentrations of these two metals are highly correlated at all depths. Near the smelter, where the carbon content and pH values of the soils are lowest, almost all the cadmium, as measured by EDTA extraction, is available. Concentration of metals in plants also decrease with distance from the smelter, with concentrations being lower in samples collected in 1980. This is possibly due to a seasonal variation in biomass, producing a dilution effect. We conclude that uptake of cadmium and that of zinc by grass species have different relationships to the carbon content of the soil.


Biomass Zinc Cadmium Geochemistry Seasonal Variation 
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Copyright information

© Science and technology letters 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. E. Farago
    • 1
  • J. T. Connell
    • 1
  1. 1.Chemistry DepartmentRoyal Holloway and Bedford CollegesEgham HillUK

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