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Long-term impact of acid resin waste deposits on soil quality of forest areas I. Contaminants and abiotic properties

AuthorsPérez de Mora, Alfredo ; Madejón, Engracia ; Cabrera, Francisco ; Buegger, Franz; Fuβ, Roland; Pritsch, Karin; Schloter, Michael
KeywordsAcid resin
Heavy metals
Issue Date11-Nov-2008
CitationThe Science of the Total Environment 406 (1-2): 99-107 (2008)
AbstractAcid resins are residues characterised by elevated concentrations of hydrocarbons and heavy metals, which were produced by mineral oil industries in Central Europe during the first half of the last century. Due to the lack of environmental legislation at that time, these wastes were dumped into excavated ponds in public areas without further protection. In this work, the long-term effects of such resin deposits on soil quality of two forest areas (Bayern, Germany) were assessed. We evaluated the distribution and accumulation of contaminants in the surroundings of the deposits, where the waste was disposed of about 60 years ago. General soil chemical properties such as pH, C, N and P content were also investigated. Chemical analysis of resin waste from the deposits revealed large amounts of potential contaminants such as hydrocarbons (93 g kg-1), As (63 mg kg-1), Cd (24 mg kg-1), Cu (1835 mg kg-1), Pb (8100 mg kg-1) and Zn (873 mg kg-1). Due to the location of the deposits on a hillside and the lack of adequate isolation, contaminants have been released downhill despite the solid nature of the waste. Five zones were investigated in each site: the deposit, three affected zones along the plume of contamination and a control zone. In affected zones, contaminants were 2 to 350 times higher than background levels depending on the site. In many cases, contaminants exceeded the German environmental guidelines for the soil-groundwater path and action levels based on extractable concentrations. Resin contamination yielded larger total C/total N ratios in affected zones, but no clear effect was observed on absolute C, N and P concentrations. In general, no major acidification effect was reported in affected zones.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2008.07.035
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