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Lead, cadmium and zinc: evaluation of contamination using the NH4HCO3-DTPA soil test




Boon, David Y., author
Soltanpour, P. N. (Parviz Neil), 1937-, advisor
Ells, James E., committee member
Lindsay, Willard Lyman, 1926-, committee member
Redente, Edward F., committee member

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The NH4HCO3-DTPA (AB-DTPA) soil test of Soltanpour and Schwab was developed for the simultaneous determination of P, K, Z, Fe, Cu and Mn in calcareous soils. However, its use for evaluating other elements has been demonstrated. The objective of the present research was to evaluate the AB-DTPA soil test for Pb, Cd, Zn and Ni on contaminated soils. Use of the AB-DTPA soil test for evaluating contaminated soils was examined using two laboratory studies. The first study compared the AB-DTPA with the DTPA soil test for Pd, Cd, Zn and Ni on 26 contaminated garden soils from Aspen, Colorado. The second study correlated the AB-DTPA soil test with total soil digests for Pb, Cd and Zn on 21 contaminated soils from Aspen, Colorado. The results indicate that the AB-DTPA soil test was highly correlated with the DTPA test for Pb, Cd, Zn and Ni. Correlation coefficients (r) were 0.96 for Pb, 0.99 for Cd, 0.99 for Zn and 0.90 for Ni. The results of the total soil digests demonstrate that the AB-DTPA soil test is highly correlated with total element concentrations for Pb, Cd and Zn. Correlation coefficients (r) were 0.92 for Pb, 0.93 for Cd and 0.89 for Zn. Additional laboratory studies were conducted to evaluate the nitric acid plant digest procedure of Havlin and Soltanpour for plant analysis of Pb, Cd, Zn, Ni and Mo. Results obtained from digestion of National Bureau of Standards (NBS) Reference materials (1571, 1573 and 1575) demonstrated that the nitric acid digestion procedure compared well with NBS certified values. Field sampling of Aspen soils and plants from Aspen resulted in high levels of Pb, Cd and Zn in both soils and plants. Soil Pb levels in excess of 100 ug/g AB-DTPA Pb may pose potential health hazards from the ingestion of contaminated soil. Plant concentrations of Pb, Cd and Zn were highest in leafy vegetables. Root crops were intermediate and took up less metals than leaves but more than vegetable fruits. The NH4HCO3-DTPA soil test was a good predictor of Pb and Cd concentrations in lettuce (Lactuca sativa) and spinach (Spinacia oleracea). Correlation coefficients (r) were (0.95) and (0.86) for Pb and Cd, respectively.


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Soils -- Testing
Soil pollution


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