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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Heavy Metals in the Environment

In Situ Soil Treatments to Reduce the Phyto- and Bioavailability of Lead, Zinc, and Cadmium


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 33 No. 2, p. 522-531
    Received: Feb 20, 2003

    * Corresponding author(s): slb@u.washington.edu
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  1. Sally Brown *a,
  2. Rufus Chaneyb,
  3. Judith Hallfrischc,
  4. James A. Ryand and
  5. William R. Bertid
  1. a College of Forest Resources, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195
    b USDA-ARS, Animal Manure and By-Products Laboratory, Beltsville, MD 20705
    c USDA-ARS HNRS, Diet and Human Performance Laboratory, Beltsville, MD 20705
    d DuPont Central Research and Development, Newark, DE 19702


A study was established near a former Zn and Pb smelter to test the ability of soil amendments to reduce the availability of Pb, Zn, and Cd in situ. Soil collected from the field was amended in the lab with P added as 1% P-H3PO4, biosolids compost added at 10% (referred to hereafter as “compost”), and a high-Fe by-product (referred to hereafter as “Fe”) + P-triple superphosphate (TSP) (2.5% Fe + 1% P-TSP) and incubated under laboratory conditions at a constant soil pH. Changes in Pb bioavailability were measured with an in vitro test and a feeding study with weanling rats. Field-amended and incubated soils using these plus additional treatments were evaluated using the in vitro extraction and tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb. cv. Kentucky-31) metal concentration. Reductions were observed across all parameters but were not consistent. In the feeding study, the 1% P-H3PO4 and compost treatments resulted in a decrease of 26% in rat tissue Pb concentration compared with the control soil. The 2.5% Fe + 1% P-TSP showed a 39% decrease. The 1% P-H3PO4 treatment caused the greatest reduction in in vitro extractable Pb from field samples (pH 2.2) with a measured reduction of 66%, while the compost treatment had a 39% reduction and the 2.5% Fe + 1% P-TSP treatment a 50% reduction. The in vitro extraction (pH 1.5) run on field samples showed no reduction in the compost or Fe treatments. The 1% P-H3PO4 treatment was the most effective at reducing plant Pb, Zn, and Cd.

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Copyright © 2004. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyASA, CSSA, SSSA