Ecological Risk Assessment of Neodymium and Yttrium on Rare Earth Element Mine Sites in Ganzhou, China
Nowadays rare earth elements (REEs) are widely applied in high-technology and clean energy products, but their environmental risks are still largely unknown. To estimate the ecological risk of REEs, soil samples were collected from REE mine tailings with and without phytoremediation. The results showed that the tailings had rather low organic matter and high total REE concentrations, up to 808.5 mg/kg. The 10% effective concentration (EC10) of neodymium (Nd) and yttrium (Y) were calculated based on the toxicity tests of seed germination and root growth. For both wheat and mung bean, the EC10 of Nd and Y in soils were in the range of 1053.1–1300.1 mg/kg. The average hazard quotient of mine tailing soil without phytoremediation was higher than that with phytoremediation. All the hazard quotient of Nd and Y were less than 1, indicating that Nd or Y alone was unlikely to cause adverse ecological effects. Given to the coexistence of REEs on mine sites, the ecological risk of REE mixture could be potentially high towards local soil environments, even for soils with phytoremdiation.
KeywordsRare earth elements Neodymium Yttrium Toxicity Ecological risk assessment
This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Plan (2018YFC1801100), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21607178).
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