Assessing soil contamination in automobile scrap yards by portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometry and magnetic susceptibility
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A by-product of industrialization and population growth, automobile scrap yards are a potential source of metal contamination in soil. This study evaluated the use of portable X-ray fluorescence (pXRF) spectrometry and magnetic susceptibility (χ) analysis in assessing metal soil contamination in scrap yards located in Brazil. Five automobile scrap yards were selected in Curitiba, Paraná State (CB1, CB2, and CB3) and Lavras, Minas Gerais State (LV1 and LV2). By evaluating metal concentrations and geoaccumulation index values, we verified moderate Cu, Pb, and Zr contamination and moderate to high Zn contamination, primarily in the topsoil (0–10 cm). Soil Zn concentrations in automobile scrap yards were on average four times higher than in reference soils, suggesting that galvanized automobile parts may be the primary source of this soil contaminant. Although other elements (i.e., As, Cr, Fe, Nb, Ni, and Y) were slightly increased compared to reference values in one or more soils, concentrations did not constitute contamination. Automobile scrap yard topsoil had higher χ values (5.8 to 52.9 × 10−7 m3 kg−1) at low frequency (χlf) compared to reference soil (3.6 to 7.5 × 10−7 m3 kg−1). The highest values of χlf occurred in LV soils, which also represented the highest Zn contamination. Magnetic multidomain characteristics (percent frequency–dependent susceptibility between 2 and 10) indicated magnetic particle contributions of anthropogenic origin. The use of pXRF and χlf as non-destructive techniques displays potential for identifying soil contamination in automobile scrap yards.
KeywordsProximal sensing Urban soils Trace elements Galvanization Metal waste
JZB and WWRT are grateful to the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES) for doctoral scholarships. GCP, ACVM, and NC are grateful to the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) for research grant funding.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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