Spatial contamination and health risks of heavy metal(loid)s in surface soils from a petrochemical complex in the north-eastern region of Algeria

  • H. Boudia
  • L. Vassalo
  • M. Hadjel
  • P. Prudent
  • J.-L. Boudenne
Original Paper


The spatial distribution patterns, origins and environmental and health risks of metal trace elements (As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn) have been evaluated through spiking and analysis of 84 soil samples in the region of Arzew (Algeria). This city has one of the biggest petroleum harbours of Algeria and in the same platform several industries, coexisting with residential and agricultural areas. The mean concentration of all the metals studied exceeds their corresponding background levels and/or exceeds the ecological predicted no effect concentration values. The geo-accumulation and the potential ecological risk indices indicate a low to moderate risk for As, Co, Cu, Ni and Zn and a moderate to considerable risk for Cr and Pb. According to the health risk assessment results, the carcinogenic risks due to Cr exceed the acceptable level in all the functional areas, and when considering combined effects of metals, the hazard index obtained shows a high potential carcinogenic risk to the local children.


Heavy metal Spatial distribution Pollution assessment Health impact Urban soil 



The funding of this study primarily originated from the PROFAS B + Research Program of the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

13762_2018_2195_MOESM1_ESM.docx (636 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 635 kb)


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Copyright information

© Islamic Azad University (IAU) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LSTGPUSTO-MB, UniversitéOranAlgeria
  2. 2.Aix Marseille University, CNRS, LCEMarseilleFrance

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