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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 10 No. 4, p. 551-556
    Received: Jan 29, 1981

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Occurrence of Naturally High Cadmium Levels in Soils and Its Accumulation by Vegetation1

  1. L. J. Lund,
  2. E. E. Betty,
  3. A. L. Page and
  4. R. A. Elliott2



A survey of soils in the Santa Monica Mountains of Los Angeles and Venture Counties, Calif., was conducted to determine the relationship between parent materials and soil Cd contents. Twenty-four series were sampled and analyzed for Cd after digestion in 4N HNO3. Residual soils developed from shale parent materials had the greatest Cd concentrations, with a mean of 7.5 µg/g, whereas soils developed from sandstone and basalt had the lowest Cd concentrations, with a mean of 0.84 µg/g. Alluvial soils with parent materials from mixed sources had an intermediate mean Cd content of 1.5 µg/g. A more extensive survey of the dominant soil series of the area was carried out and the Millsholm series, mapped in 30% of the area, was found to have a mean Cd content of 7.3 µg/g. A greenhouse vegetable study conducted with seven soils from the area, representing a range of Cd concentrations, showed that the Cd present naturally in these soils was absorbed by the vegetables in amounts sufficient to be of public health concern.

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