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Soil contamination due to heavy metals from an industrial area of Surat, Gujarat, Western India

Author(s): Krishna AK, Govil PK



The pollution of soil is a source of danger to the health of people, even to those living in cities. The anthropogenic pollution caused by heavy industries enters plants then goes through the food chain and ultimately endangers human health. In the context, the knowledge of the regional variability, the background values and anthropogenic vs. natural origin of potentially harmful elements in soils is of critical importance to assess human impact. The present study was undertaken on soil contamination in Surat, Gujarat (India). The aims of the study were: i) to determine extent and distribution of heavy metals (Ba, Cu, Cr, Co, Ni, Sr, V and Zn) ii) to find out the large scale variability, iii) to delineate the source as geogenic or anthropogenic based on the distribution maps and correlation of metals in soils. Soil samples were collected from the industrial area of Surat from top 10 cm layer of the soil. These samples were analysed for heavy metals by using Philips PW 2440 X-ray fluorescence spectrometer. The data reveal that soils in the area are significantly contaminated, showing higher levels of toxic elements than normal distribution. The heavy metal loads of the soils in the study area are 471.7 mg/kg for Ba, 137.5 mg/kg for Cu, 305.2 mg/kg for Cr, 51.3 mg/kg for Co, 79.0 mg/kg for Ni, 317.9 mg/kg for Sr, 380.6 mg/kg for V and 139.0 mg/kg for Zn. The higher concentrations of these toxic metals in soils need to be monitored regularly for heavy metal enrichment.

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