Environmental Hazards Resulting from the Use of Public Roads in Krakow, Poland
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AGH University of Science and Technology, Department of Hydrogeology and Engineering Geology, Faculty of Geology, Geophysics and Environmental Protection, Krakow, Poland
Submission date: 2019-07-26
Final revision date: 2019-09-14
Acceptance date: 2019-09-18
Online publication date: 2020-03-09
Publication date: 2020-04-21
Corresponding author
Dorota Pierri   

Department of Hydrogeology and Engineering Geology, AGH University of Science and Technology, 30 A. Mickiewicz Av., 30059, Krakow, Poland
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2020;29(4):2803-2812
The use of communication routes is associated with general awareness of the high environmental pollution caused by heavy metals. Research carried out on the example of the busy Opolska Street in Krakow, Poland, showed that the surrounding land is clean and does not show any signs of pollution. The geometric mean contents of metals and metalloids in the ground are as follows: for arsenic As3+ – 0.0088 mg/kg, cadmium Cd2+ – 0.0005 mg/kg, copper Cu2+ – 0.0406 mg/kg, mercury Hg2+ – 0.0001 mg/kg, nickel Ni2+ – 0.0077 mg/kg, lead Pb2+ – 0.0028 mg/kg and zinc Zn2+ – 0.0160 mg/kg. The main threat to the ground and water environment was the maintenance of the road during the winter period. On a 58-m research section, after the measurement period, the amount of chlorides increased in the soil environment by over ½ kg, i.e., +561 mg/kg (+592 for December and +530 mg/kg for January). A green belt separating roadways is a permanent element of the exposed ground. The total length of Opolska Street is 3,400 m and the green belt is about 2,900 m, with an average width of 4 m along the entire length of the street. Through this section of land alone, more than 2½ tons of chlorides enter the ground and then into the shallow Quaternary groundwater. This value translates into 4 tons of road salt (NaCl rock salt).
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