Environmental risk of heavy metal pollution and contamination sources using multivariate analysis in the soils of Varanasi environs, India

  • Shubhra Singh
  • N. Janardhana Raju
  • Sadaf Nazneen
Article

Abstract

This study assessed soil pollution in the Varanasi environs of Uttar Pradesh in India. Assessing the concentration of potentially harmful heavy metals in the soils is imperative in order to evaluate the potential risks to human. To identify the concentration and sources of heavy metals and assess the soil environmental quality, 23 samples were collected from different locations covering dumping, road and agricultural area. The average concentrations of the heavy metals were all below the permissible limits according to soil quality guidelines except Cu (copper) and Pb (lead) in dumping and road soils. Soil heavy metal contamination was assessed on the basis of geoaccumulation index (Igeo), pollution index (PI) and integrated pollution index (IPI). The IPI of the metals ranged from 0.59 to 9.94, with the highest IPI observed in the dumping and road soils. A very significant correlation was found between Pb and Cu. The result of principal component analysis suggested that PC1 was mainly affected by the use of agrochemicals, PC2 was affected by vehicular emission and PC3 was affected by dumping waste. Meanwhile, PC4 was mainly controlled by parent material along with anthropogenic activities. Appropriate measures should be taken to minimize the heavy metal levels in soils and thus protect human health.

Keywords

Heavy metal Soil environmental quality Principal component analysis Varanasi 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shubhra Singh
    • 1
  • N. Janardhana Raju
    • 1
  • Sadaf Nazneen
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Environmental SciencesJawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew DelhiIndia

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