Saturday, 15 July 2006

Distribution and Contamination of Zn, Cd and Pb, and Establishment of Local Referende Value for the Vazante (MG) - Brazil.

Meubles Borges Junior, UNEC, Av. Moacir de Matos 24, Caratinga, Brazil, Jaime W. V. Mello, Univ Federal de Vicosa, Depto. de Solos, Av. P. H. Rolfs, s/n, Vicosa, 36570-000, Brazil, and Carlos E.G.R. Schaefer, Depto do Solos-Univ Federal de Viçosa, Campus da Universidade, Viçosa, Brazil.

This work was carried out to evaluate the distribution and forms of Zn, Cd and Pb, aiming to identify the origin of abnormal values in soils associated with mining areas of the CMM company, in Vazante (MG-Brazil). Also, it aimed to establish Local Reference Values (LRV) for these elements based on total and available levels (Melich 3 and DTPA) and offer subsidies to environmental risk assessment. Soil profiles were samples in mined areas, at both upper and downslope at depths of 0-2, 2-5, 5-10, 10-20, 20-50, 50-100 and 100-150 cm. The Zn, Cd and Pb concentrations were obtained for the following forms: (a) soluble; (b) exchangeable; (c) carbonate-associated; (d) associated with amorphous oxides; (e) associated with crystalline oxides; (f) organically bound; (g) residual and (h) total. It was also determined the concentration of available forms of these elements (Melich-3 and DTPA). The LRV's were obtained by the mean of Zn, Cd and Pb levels at 0-20 cm soils at upslope position. Based on the LRV, the contamination factor (C.F.) and the geo-accumulation index were calculated for each profile. Overall, the levels of Zn, Cd and Pb were higher in younger soils of the mineralized zone in relation to deeply weathered soils, at both upslope and downslope from the mine plant. The total levels are extremely high, specialy for Zn and Cd. Even when only the exchangeable and organically bound forms of Zn and Cd are considered, the values are much higher than those reported by Alloway, considering the naturally occurring levels in soils. There is a decreasing trend with depth, mostly for Zn and Cd, in soils outside the mineralized area (at both up and downslope positions). There is an increase in the Zn levels with depth in the Cambisol (P2), and also for Cd (P2, P3, P8, P9), in the mined area. There is no significant difference between mean values of Zn, Cd and Pb at upslope and downslope, at 5% significance. The LRV's obtained were 1.662 mg/kg for Zn; 4,75 mg/kg for Cd and 384 mg/kg for Pb. The LRV for Zn is lower than the IV's adopted in São Paulo for agricultural areas at maximum protection and lower than those adopted in the USA and in Canada for residential areas. The LRV for Pb is lower than the IV's adopted in São Paulo, USA, Canada and Germany for residential areas. The profiles of the mineralized area, specially P9 (mining area), presented higher CF's. Based on the geo-accumulation index (IGeo), the profiles positioned dowslope were classified as moderately contaminated to not contaminated.

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