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Levels, Spatial Distribution and Possible Sources of Heavy Metals Contamination of Suburban Soils in Tianjin, China


Representative soil samples (n = 86) of suburban areas in Tianjin (Xiqing, Dongli, Jinnan, Beichen) were evaluated for heavy metals. The results showed that the average concentration of Cr, Cu, Zn, As, Cd, Pb and Hg in soil of Tianjin suburban was 101.0, 67.0, 100.6, 9.5, 0.49, 52.5 and 0.97 mg/kg, respectively. Pollution of Cr and Zn were minimal compared to the other elements while concentrations of Cd and Hg were higher than their natural background values. Spatial variations of Cd, Hg, Pb and Cu in soil were illustrated; Pollution status and comparison in the four districts were also investigated. Higher concentrations of Hg and Cd were found in soils of Beichen than others indicating that Beichen was suffering from metal contamination. Principal Component Analysis in combination with local specific environment suggested that heavy metal contamination had different origination. Wastewater and sludge irrigation, air deposition might be the most important sources. These results, especially the spatial distribution of pollutants, would be helpful to develop proper management strategies and decrease source pollution by various remediation practices in Tianjin, China.

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Correspondence to Jungang Lv.

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Shi, R., Lv, J., Cai, Y. et al. Levels, Spatial Distribution and Possible Sources of Heavy Metals Contamination of Suburban Soils in Tianjin, China. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 85, 287–290 (2010).

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  • Heavy metal
  • Soil
  • Suburban