Evaluating the Presence of Heavy Metals in the Vicinity of an Industrial Complex
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University of Prishtina, Faculty of Natural Science and Mathematics, Department of Chemistry, Prishtina, Kosovo
Submission date: 2019-10-31
Final revision date: 2019-12-30
Acceptance date: 2020-01-02
Online publication date: 2020-04-15
Publication date: 2020-06-08
Corresponding author
Skender Demaku   

Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Pristine, Str. Nëna Tereze 5, 10 000 Pristine, Republic of Kosovo, Albania, St. Nëna Tereze 5, 10 000, Prishtina, Albania
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2020;29(5):3643–3649
Heavy metals occur naturally in the earth’s crust, but anthropogenic activities such as mining can release them in large quantities into the environment.
Mines are important industrial complexes for economic development, but may have major environmental consequences if the relevant standards are not met. In the Mitrovica region of Kosovo there is a Pb and Zn mine known as Trepça. This mine was built decades ago, and is a major source of environmental pollution, with a considerable amount of sterile material that remains after the mine’s flotation. This results in the contamination of water, soil and sludge.
This research focuses on the pollution containing heavy metal waste that comes from the Trepça mine generated from lead and zinc mining activities. In order to evaluate the environmental pollution in water, soil and sludge, we measured heavy metals (Pb, Zn, Cu, Cd, Ni and Fe) using inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP AES). Our results indicate that the presence of metal contamination in the study area is strongly influenced by mining activities. The results presented here can serve national agencies in taking measures to implement monitoring programs for heavy metals in areas surrounding the Trepça mining complex.