Contamination of soils with heavy metals is widespread and poses a long-term risk to ecosystem health. Abandoned and active mining sites contain residues from ore-processing operations that are characterised by high concentrations of heavy metals. The distribution and mobility characteristics of heavy metals (As, Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn) in paddy soil samples from Kočani Field (Macedonia) using ICP-EAS and a sequential extraction procedure was evaluated. The results indicate that highly elevated concentrations of As, Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn were detected in the paddy soil sample from location VII-2 in the vicinity of Zletovo mine and Zletovska river in the western part of Kočani Field, which drains the untreated acid mine waters and mine wastes from the active Zletovo mine. The degree of contamination based on index of geoaccumulation (Igeo) from strong to weak in the paddy soils samples is Pb > As > Cd > Zn > Cu. The mobility potential of heavy metals in all paddy soil samples increases in the order As < Cu < Pb < Zn < Cd. According to the results of the anthropogenic impact on the paddy soils, a further study on the heavy metal concentrations in rice and other edible crops, the remediation process of the paddy soils and a dietary study of the local population are needed.
Heavy metals Contamination Paddy soils Sequential extraction Kočani Field (Macedonia)
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The research was financially supported by the Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS), contract number 1000-05-310229.
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