Multi-element pollution in soil, ground and surface water from abandoned chromate chemical plants: a case study in Hangzhou, China

Zou, L.; Wang, S.; Liu, L.; Hashmi, M.Z.; Tang, X.; Shi, J.

Environmental Earth Sciences 74(4): 2861-2870


ISSN/ISBN: 1866-6280
DOI: 10.1007/s12665-015-4310-1
Accession: 070745578

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The concentrations, leachability and vertical distributions of chromium (Cr) and other metal elements were determined in soil and the level was also determined in groundwater and surface water around an abandoned chromate chemical plant located in Hangzhou, China. The results showed that Cr, Pb, Zn, Cd, Cu, Hg and As heavily polluted the surface soil and groundwater. However, the surface water from a river near the abandoned chemical plant was not heavily polluted by the aforementioned heavy metals. The leachability of metals was not uniform within different sampling points. The highest concentrations of Cr (170.18 mg/L) and Cr(VI) (130.59 mg/L) in the soil leaching solution were recorded at a depth of 0-20 cm at the warehouse in the center of the plant. However, the attenuation of heavy metals (Cr, Pb, Zn, Cd and Hg) toward the vertical distribution was fast with increasing depth. Our results suggest that the multi-element pollution in soil and water may pose a drastic risk to the environment and human health surrounding those abandoned chemical plants in China and other developing countries with fast urbanization.