Metal (loid)s pollution characteristics and ecotoxicity evaluation in soil nearby a silver smelting yard

  • Jianqiang Zhang
  • Zhiliang ChenEmail author
  • Songxiong Zhong
  • Xin Wang
  • Ling Huang
  • Xiaoli Chen
  • Guangcai Yin
Original Article


The spatial distribution characteristics of metal(loid)s (Cu, Zn, Cd, As, and Pb) in the soil of a silver smelting zone located in Chenzhou, Hunan province, China and their ecological toxicity were studied in this paper. The results showed that the average concentration of these metal(loid)s in the soil of the silver smelting yard and surroundings decreased in the order: Pb > Cu > Zn > As > Cd, and all of these metal(loid)s greatly surpassed the local background. In general, the concentration of metal(loid)s in soil decreased with the increase in distance from the pollution source in the horizontal direction. In addition, the metal concentration decreased with an increase of depth. The geo-accumulation index and toxic unit analysis revealed that the smelting yard was extremely contaminated and Cu, Cd, and As exhibited the most toxic effects in this area. Furthermore, in soils nearby smelting yard, higher contamination was found in the lower geographical forms than in the higher parts of the terrain.


Ecotoxicity Spatial distribution Metal(loid)s Silver smelting 



This project was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFD0801305), the Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province (2017A030313245) and the Science and Technology Programs of Guangzhou city, Guangdong province (No. 201607010393, 2016201604030017,201707010484).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.South China Institute of Environmental SciencesMinistry of Environmental ProtectionGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Guangdong University of TechnologyGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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