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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Heavy Metals in the Environment

Availability of Arsenic, Copper, Lead, Thallium, and Zinc to Various Vegetables Grown in Slag-Contaminated Soils


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 30 No. 3, p. 934-939
    Received: Mar 13, 2000

    * Corresponding author(s): bunzl@gsf.de
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  1. K. Bunzl *a,
  2. M. Trautmannsheimerc,
  3. P. Schramelb and
  4. W. Reifenhäuserc
  1. a Institute of Radiation Protection, GSF-National Research Center for Environment and Health, 85764 Neuherberg, Germany
    c State Environmental Protection Agency of Bavaria, Augsburg, Germany
    b Institute of Ecological Chemistry, GSF-National Research Center for Environment and Health, 85764 Neuherberg, Germany


To anticipate a possible hazard resulting from the plant uptake of metals from slag-contaminated soils, it is useful to study whether vegetables exist that are able to mobilize a given metal in the slag to a larger proportion than in an uncontaminated control soil. For this purpose, we studied the soil to plant transfer of arsenic, copper, lead, thallium, and zinc by the vegetables bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L. ‘dwarf bean Modus’), kohlrabi (Brassica oleracea var. gongylodes L.), mangold (Beta vulgaris var. macrorhiza), lettuce (Lactuca sativa L. ‘American gathering brown’), carrot (Daucus carota L. ‘Rotin’, ‘Sperlings’s'), and celery [Apium graveiolus var. dulce (Mill.) Pers.] from a control soil (Ap horizon of a Entisol) and from a contaminated soil (1:1 soil–slag mixtures). Two types of slags were used: an iron-rich residue from pyrite (FeS2) roasting and a residue from coal firing. The metal concentrations in the slags, soils, and plants were used to calculate for each metal and soil–slag mixture the plant–soil fractional concentration ratio (CRfractional,slag), that is, the concentration ratio of the metal that results only from the slag in the soil. With the exception of Tl, the resulting values obtained for this quantity for As, Cu, Pb, and Zn and for all vegetables were significantly smaller than the corresponding plant–soil concentration ratios (CRcontrol soil) for the uncontaminated soil. The results demonstrate quantitatively that the ability of a plant to accumulate a given metal as observed for a control soil might not exist for a soil–slag mixture, and vice versa.

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Copyright © 2001. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyPublished in J. Environ. Qual.30:934–939.