Author(s): Lima LR, Bernardez LA
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Abstract For 33 years, a primary lead smelter operated in Santo Amaro (Brazil). Since the 1970s, large amounts of Pb and Cd have been widely documented in the blood and hair of people living near the smelter. The plant closed down in 1993, and several years later, the Pb levels in the blood of children under 4 years of age living near the smelter were high, where the disposed lead slag was suspected to be the main source of this contamination. The objective of this study is to elucidate the source of the Pb contamination and any other potentially toxic contamination, focusing on the characterization of the slag. The samples used for this characterization study were taken from the slag heaps. The results of the chemical analysis showed that the major constituents of the slag, in decreasing order of wt\%, were the following: Fe(2)O(3) (28.10), CaO (23.11), SiO(2) (21.39), ZnO (9.47), MgO (5.44), PbO (4.06), Al(2)O(3) (3.56), C (2.26), MnO (1.44), Na(2)O (0.27), S (0.37), K(2)O (0.26), and TiO(2) (0.25). The Cd content of the slag was 57.3mg/kg, which is relatively low. The X-ray diffraction and the electron probe microanalyzer X-ray mapping indicated that the major phases in the slag were wüstite, olivine, kirschsteinite, and franklinite. Only spheroidal metallic Pb was found in the slag. The leaching study showed that the slag was stable at a pH greater than 2.8, and only in an extremely acidic environment was the solubilization of the Pb enhanced significantly. The solubilization of Zn was very limited in the acidic and alkaline environments. These results can be explained by the limited leachability of the metallic Pb and Zn-bearing compounds. The leaching study used TCLP, SPLP, and SWEP and indicated that the lead slag was stable in weak acidic environments for short contact times. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
This article was published in J Hazard Mater
and referenced in Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation