American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Assessment of Lead and Cadmium Content in the Soils and Plants in Industrial Area

Gabriela Oprea, Cristina Mihali, Angela Michnea, Marin Senila, Ionel Gogoasa and Zorica Vosgan

DOI : 10.3844/ajessp.2011.402.408

American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Volume 7, Issue 5

Pages 402-408

Abstract

Problem statement: The objective of this research was to assess the degree of soil pollution and also of Plant contamination with lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd) in Baia Mare city (located in NW Romania) area which used to be one of the most important nonferrous metallurgical centers in Romania. Approach: Soil and plant samples were collected from 3 districts of Baia Mare: Ferneziu, located near the metallurgical plant producing lead, S?sar district, along the S?sar River in the preferential direction of the wind blowing from the metallurgical plant and the central area (Center) of the city of Baia Mare. As reference area, Dura area was considered located in a less polluted zone. The Pb and Cd assay was carried out by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry. Statistical analysis of the data was performed and correlations and similarities between the variables were highlighted. Principal component analysis was applied in order to improve the significance and to reduce the number of variables. Results: The highest contents of Pb and Cd both in soil and in plants were found in Ferneziu district where Pb average content in soil was 4400 mg kg-1 Dry Weight (DW) at 0-10 cm depth and 3100 mg kg-1 DW at 10-20 cm depth while in plants ranged between 1.04-255 mg kg-1 DW. Cd content in soil was 29 mg kg-1 at 0-10 cm depth and 23 mg kg-1 at 10-20 cm depth. In plants, Cd content ranged between 0.015-4.81 mg kg-1 DW. In Sasar district and in Center area moderate soil pollution with Pb was found. Data analysis indicated significant correlations between Pb and Cd contents in the superficial soil level of 0-10 cm as well as between Pb and Cd contents in soil at the depth of 10-20 cm, showing that the powder coming from the metallurgical plants is the common source of these elements. Conclusion: The study shows a non-uniform spread of Pb and Cd both in soil and plants in Baia Mare city, due to anthropogenic influences. The highest contents of these elements were found in Ferneziu area in soil as well as in plant samples. Remediation measures are required prevalently in Ferneziu district around the lead smelter.

Copyright

© 2011 Gabriela Oprea, Cristina Mihali, Angela Michnea, Marin Senila, Ionel Gogoasa and Zorica Vosgan. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.