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Arsenic (As), antimony (Sb), and lead (Pb) availability from Au-mine Technosols: a case study of transfer to natural vegetation cover in temperate climates

Arsenic (As), antimony (Sb), and lead (Pb) availability from Au-mine Technosols: a case study of transfer to natural vegetation cover in temperate climates

Environmental Geochemistry and Health 36(4): 783-795

Soils from old Au-mine tailings (La Petite Faye, France) were investigated in relation to the natural vegetation cover to evaluate the risk of metals and metalloids (Pb, As, Sb) mobilizing and their potential transfer to native plants (Graminea, Betula pendula, Pteridium aquilinum, Equisetum telmateia). The soils are classified as Technosols with high contamination levels of As, Pb, and Sb. The single selective extractions tested to evaluate available fraction (CaCl2, acetic acid, A-Rhizo, and DTPA) showed low labile fractions (<5 % of bulk soil contents), but still significant levels were observed (up to 342.6 and 391.9 mg/kg for As and Pb, respectively) due to the high contamination levels of soils. Even at high soil contaminations (considered as phytotoxic levels for plants), translocation factors for native plants studied are very low resulting in low concentrations of As, Sb, and Pb in their aerial part tissues. This study demonstrates the important role of (1) native plant cover in terms of "stabilization" of these contaminants, and (2) the poor effectiveness of extraction procedures used for this type of soil assemblages, i.e., rich in specific mineral phases.

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Accession: 051636491

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PMID: 24474610

DOI: 10.1007/s10653-014-9596-5

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