Water, Air, and Soil Pollution

, Volume 93, Issue 1–4, pp 243–254 | Cite as

Phosphate-enhanced movement of arsenic out of lead arsenate-contaminated topsoil and through uncontaminated subsoil

  • F. J. Peryea
  • R. Kammereck


Past use of lead arsenate insecticides has resulted in elevated concentrations of lead (Pb) and arsenic (As) in topsoils of many existing and former deciduous tree fruit orchard sites throughout the world. Application of phosphate (PO4)-containing fertilizers to these soils can increase soil As solubility, phytoavailability and downward mobility. A laboratory soil column experiment was conducted to determine if As released by phosphate additions to a topsoil artificially contaminated with lead arsenate (1.65 mmol total Pb/kg; 1.10 mmol total As/kg) would be appreciably resorbed by the underlying uncontaminated subsoil. Treatments were a factorial combination of topsoil amendment with monoammonium phosphate (MAP, 0 or 16.67 mmol PO4/kg), and amount of leaching (1, 5 and 10 pore volume displacements (PVD) with distilled water under saturated flow conditions). Soil As decreased in the topsoil with increasing amount of leaching and increased in the subsoil. Addition of MAP substantially increased loss of topsoil As, promoted As transport into and through the subsoil, and increased dissolved As concentrations in the column leachates. After 10 PVDs, 95% of the initial soil As remained in the −MAP columns, while 56% of the initial soil As remained the +MAP columns. Dissolved Pb concentrations were <0.05μmol/L in all column leachates. The data are consistent with a mechanism of PO4-enhanced release of As in the topsoil and subsequent promotion of As movement through the subsoil by continuing competition of dissolved As and PO4 for ion adsorption sites. The experimental results indicate that use of PO4-containing fertilizers on lead arsenate-contaminated soils has the potential to greatly enhance downward movement of soil As.

Key words

arsenic lead phosphorus heavy metal mobility 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. J. Peryea
    • 1
  • R. Kammereck
    • 1
  1. 1.Tree Fruit Research and Extension CenterWashington State UniversityWenatcheeUSA

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