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01-07-2011 | Original Article | Issue 5/2011

Environmental Earth Sciences 5/2011

Assessment of heavy metal contamination in soils around Balanagar industrial area, Hyderabad, India

Journal:
Environmental Earth Sciences > Issue 5/2011
Authors:
G. Machender, Ratnakar Dhakate, L. Prasanna, P. K. Govil

Abstract

The concentration of heavy metals such as Ba, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, Rb, Sr, V, Y, Zn, Zr were studied in soils of Balanagar industrial area, Hyderabad to understand heavy metal contamination due to industrialization and urbanization. This area is affected by the industrial activities like steel, petrochemicals, automobiles, refineries, and battery manufacturing generating hazardous wastes. The assessment of the contamination of the soils was based on the geoaccumulation index, enrichment factor (EF), contamination factor, and degree of contamination. Soil samples were collected from Balanagar industrial area from top 10–50 cm layer of soil. The samples were analyzed using X-ray fluorescence spectrometer for heavy metals. The data revealed that the soils in the study area are significantly contaminated, showing high level of toxic elements than normal distribution. The ranges of concentration of Cr (82.2–2,264 mg/kg), Cu (31.3–1,040 mg/kg), Ni (34.3–289.4 mg/kg), Pb (57.5–1,274 mg/kg), Zn (67.5–5819.5 mg/kg), Co (8.6–54.8 mg/kg), and V (66.6–297 mg/kg). The concentration of above-mentioned other elements was similar to the levels in the earth’s crust pointed to metal depletion in the soil as the EF was <1. Some heavy metals showed high EF in the soil samples indicating that there is a considerable heavy metal pollution, which could be correlated with the industries in the area. A contamination site poses significant environmental hazards for terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. They are important sources of pollution and may results in ecotoxicological effects on terrestrial, groundwater and aquatic ecosystems.

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