Potentially toxic elements in soils and contamination indices at the serra pelada gold mine, Para, Brazil
Keywords:contamination, heavy metals, Serra Pelada, Gold mining, Soils
The large surface stacking volume of waste and tailings at the Serra Pelada gold mine, with a high content of potentially toxic elements (PTEs), has led to environmental damage in the area, which continues to this day and is yet to be measured. Total and available Cu, Mo, Pb, and Zn and an indicator index was formulated for soil contamination in the artisanal mining area of Serra Pelada, Amazônia, Brazil. To obtain these data, six soil samples were collected surrounding the lake formed from the mining trenches and one from a forest area outside the influence of mining activities. Metal solubilization and partial extraction were conducted by aqua regia and 0.5 mol L-1 HCl, respectively, followed by detection using argon plasma optical emission spectrometry. All PTEs showed total contents above the quality reference values for soils in the state of Para. The available fractions of Cu, Pb, and Zn were higher than the concentrations expected for Para in forest soils. The total Cu contents were above the value of prevention defined by the National Council of Environment. In general, there was Mo enrichment (41.0) > Cu (3.5) > Pb (1.4), indicating that the areas had been contaminated by PTEs a resulting from human activity.
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Copyright (c) 2018 Renato Alves Teixeira, Edna Santos de Souza, José Roberto Ferreira, Antonio Rodrigues Fernandes
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