Free Content Distribution study of inorganic arsenic (III) and (V) species in soil and their mobility in the area of Baia-Mare, Romania

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Baia-Mare industrial site in NW Romania was investigated to assess the distribution, speciation and mobility of inorganic arsenic species in soil. Contents and fractions of As(III), As(V) and total As leachable in water, 1M HCl and 10M HCl were determined in soil by single extraction. Total arsenic content in the selected sample, determined after a matrix modification with Mg(NO3)2 was in the range 10–1725 μg g−1. The contents (μg g−1) of leachable As3+ (As5+) species by single extraction were: 0.1 –70 (0.8 – 950) in water, 0.2 –90 (1.6 –1200) in 1M HCl and 0.8 –100 (8 –1500) in 10M HCl, showing that arsenic (V) species represented more than 90% of the total. Leaching tests indicated a high availability of arsenic in water, although poorly reactive phases were encountered as well. Compared to the total arsenic in soil, fractions of 9–34% were leachable in water, 39–80% in 1M HCl and 77–94% in 10M HCl. Contamination was higher at the surface than at depth and decreased with the distance from the pollutant source. Centres for pyrometallurgical processing of ores are mainly responsible for pollution with water soluble species, while centres for ores concentration for pollution with poorly reactive arsenic species soluble in 10M HCl and Mg(NO3)2. According to the sequential extraction data, soils in the area could be divided into three categories according to its maximum mobility in water, 1M HCl and 10M HCl. Good precision (RSD 7.5 –17.6%) and recovery degree (101±3%) were achieved for arsenic determination in five certified soils (n=5).

Keywords: atomic absorption spectrometry; hydride generation; inorganic arsenic speciation; single extraction; soil contamination

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Babes Bolyai University, Department of Chemistry, 400028 Cluj-Napoca, Arany Janos 11, Romania

Publication date: February 10, 2006

More about this publication?
  • Chemical Speciation & Bioavailability covers a rapidly expanding area in environmental science.

    Research on the interactions between the chemical forms and behaviour of toxic compounds and their subsequent biological uptake, metabolism and ecological fate involves many scientific fields. These studies are often published in discipline-specific journals, leading to inadequate review and information scatter. This situation hinders both the development of an international community of experienced colleagues and the open flow of information and discussion. Additionally, the importance of speciation and bioavailability research to the development of pollution law and control technologies is being increasingly appreciated by environmental regulatory agencies throughout the world.

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