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Accumulation of heavy metals in sunflower and sorghum plants affected by the Guadiamar spill

AuthorsMurillo Carpio, José Manuel ; Marañón, Teodoro ; Cabrera, Francisco ; López Núñez, Rafael
KeywordsGuadiamar river
Heavy metals
Pyrite tailings
Toxicity levels
Issue Date6-Dec-1999
CitationScience of the Total Environment 242(1-3): 281-292 (1999)
AbstractThe collapse of a pyrite-mining, tailing dam on 25 April 1998 contaminated approximately 2000 ha of croplands along the Agrio and Guadiamar river valleys in southern Spain. This paper reports the accumulation of chemical elements in soil and in two crops — sunflower and sorghum — affected by the spill. Total concentrations of As, Bi, Cd, Cu, Mn, Pb, Sb, Tl and Zn in spill-affected soils were greater than in adjacent, unaffected soils. Leaves of spill-affected crop plants had higher nutrient (K, Ca and Mg for sunflower and N and K for sorghum) concentrations than controls, indicating a ‘fertilising’ effect caused by the sludge. Seeds of spill-affectedsunflowerplants did accumulate more As, Cd, Cu and Zn than controls, but values were below toxic levels. Leaves of sorghumplants accumulated more As, Bi, Cd, Mn, Pb, Tl and Zn than controls, but these values were also below toxic levels for livestock consumption. In general, none of the heavymetals studied in both crops reached either phytotoxic or toxic levels for humans or livestock. Nevertheless, a continuous monitoring of heavymetalaccumulation in soil and plants must be established in the spill-affected area.
Description12 pages, 8 tables, 26 references.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0048-9697(99)00396-4
Appears in Collections:(IRNAS) Artículos
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