The Concentration of Trace Metals in Selected Cultivated and Meadow Plants Collected from the Vicinity of a Phosphogypsum Stack in Northern Poland
Alicja Boryło, Waldemar Nowicki, Bogdan Skwarzec
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Faculty of Chemistry, University of Gdańsk, Sobieskiego 18, Gdańsk, Poland
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2013;22(2):347–356
The aim of this work was the determination of trace metals (Pb, Zn, Ni, Cu, and Fe) concentrations in different plants collected in the vicinity of a phosphogypsum stack in Wiślinka (northern Poland). The measurements of trace metals were determined by two methods: AAS (atomic absorption spectrometry) and OESICP (atomic emission spectrometry with inductively coupled plasma). Enhanced levels of iron were observed in all the analyzed samples and can be explained by the higher content of this element in the groundwaters of Żuławy Wiślane. The trace metal concentrations in plant samples from the phosphogypsum stack recorded in this study are significantly higher than in control sites. The relationship between atmospheric trace metals deposition and elevated trace metals concentrations in plants and top soil layers, especially in the vicinity of the phoshpogypsum stack, was shown in this study, as well as the discharge of trace metals and other pollutants from the phosphogypsum stack, resulting from industrial human activity. The considerably high concentrations of select trace metals in vegetables collected from the vicinity of the phosphogypsum stack obtained in this study can lead to the conclusion that consumption of these vegetables for a longer period of time can harm and adversely affect human health.