Keywords: chromium, cadmium, nickel, lead, soil contamination, Turkey, environmental pollution, agricultural soils, heavy metals
Distribution of chromium, cadmium, nickel and lead in agricultural soils collected from Kazanli-Mersin, Turkey
This study reports total levels of chromium, cadmium, nickel and lead in the agricultural land adjacent a factory producing chromate compounds in Kazanli-Mersin. Surface soil samples were collected from fields around the factory as well as from fields farther away to measure contamination due to aerial transportation and deposition of dust produced in the industrial process. Heavy metals in soil were extracted using wet digestion, and concentrations were measured by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The concentrations were compared with Turkish maximum allowable concentration values. The metal concentrations averaged 80, 0.14, 228 and 431mg1kg-1 for chromium, cadmium, nickel and lead, respectively. Soil samples contaminated with chromium were mainly found 500–20001m from the factory and decreased with increasing distance from the factory. Elevated chromium and nickel concentrations were determined in the soils around the factory, especially to the northwest (prevailing wind) and west. Lead concentrations exceeded the limit in only roadside soils (4000 and 50001m to the west), but tended to increase in the vicinity of industrial activity (especially in the west, the northwest and the north). The cadmium concentration did not exceed the limit and was within the normal range for soils.