Author(s): Dolenec T, Serafimovski T, Tasev G, Dobnikar M, Dolenec M, , Dolenec T, Serafimovski T, Tasev G, Dobnikar M, Dolenec M,
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Abstract The objective of this study was to assess the bulk chemical composition as well as the extent and severity of heavy metal contamination in the paddy soil of Kocani Field (eastern Macedonia). The results revealed that the paddy soil of the western part of Kocani Field is severely contaminated with Pb, Zn, As and Cd in the vicinity of the Zletovska River due to irrigation with riverine water that is severely affected by acid mine and tailing effluents from the Pb-Zn mine in Zletovo. The detected total concentrations of these metals are far above the threshold values considered to be phytotoxically excessive for surface soil. The paddy soil in the vicinity of the Zletovska River was also found to exhibit elevated levels of Ba, Th, U, V, W, Mo, Cu, Sb, Bi, Ag, Au, Hg and Tl, with concentrations above their generally accepted median concentration values obtained during this study. A correlation matrix revealed that the Mn and Fe oxides/hydroxides are the most important carrier phase for several trace elements, with the exception of rare earth elements (REEs). These also represent a major sink for the observed heavy metal pollution of the soil. REEs are mostly associated with two phases: light (L)REEs are bound to K-Al, while heavy (H)REEs are bound to Mg-bearing minerals. Although there is no direct evidence of a health risk, the paddy soil in the vicinity of Zletovska River needs further investigation and an assessment should be made of its suitability for agricultural use, particularly in view of the highly elevated concentrations of Pb, Zn, As and Cd.
This article was published in Environ Geochem Health
and referenced in Journal of Environmental & Analytical Toxicology