Lead contamination of the mining and smelting district in Mitrovica, Kosovo
Lead contamination in topsoil of the mining and smelting area of Mitrovica, Kosovo, was investigated for total concentrations and chemical fractions by sequential extraction analysis, mineralogical fractions by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy with energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometer (SEM-EDX). The study revealed that all samples contained Pb exceeding USEPA standard of 400 mg kg−1. The highest total concentration of Pb (125,000 mg kg−1) was the soil from the former smelter. Sequential extraction results showed that the predominant form of Pb was associated with Fe-Mn oxide-bound fraction which ranged from 45.37 to 71.61% of total concentrations, while carbonate and silicate Pb-binding fractions were dominant when physical measurements (XRD and SEM-EDX) were applied. Application of Pb isotope ratios (206Pb/207Pb and 208Pb/206Pb), measured by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, identified that Pb contamination is originated from similar anthropogenic source. The results reflected that the Pb contamination in the soil of this area is serious. In order to provide proper approaches on remediation and prevention of health impacts to the people in this area, a continuous monitoring and health risk assessment are recommended.
KeywordsLead contamination Mining Smelting Lead isotopes Mitrovica Kosovo
This work was supported by GIST Research Institute (GRI) grant funded by Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), Korea, in 2018.
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