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Reduction of arsenic uptake by lettuce with ferrous sulfate applied to contaminated soil

Warren, G. P. and Alloway, B. J. (2003) Reduction of arsenic uptake by lettuce with ferrous sulfate applied to contaminated soil. Journal of Environmental Quality, 32 (3). pp. 767-772. ISSN 0047-2425

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Soil contamination by arsenic (As) presents a hazard in many countries and there is a need for techniques to minimize As uptake by plants. A proposed in situ remediation method was tested by growing lettuce (Lactuca sativa L. cv. Kermit) in a greenhouse pot experiment on soil that contained 577 mg As kg(-1), taken from a former As smelter site. All combinations of iron (Fe) oxides, at concentrations of 0.00, 0.22, 0.54, and 1.09% (w/w), and lime, at concentrations of 0.00, 0.27, 0.68, and 1.36% (w/w), were tested in a factorial design. To create the treatments, field-moist soil, commercial-grade FeSO4, and ground agricultural lime were mixed and stored for one week, allowing Fe oxides to precipitate. Iron oxides gave highly significant (P < 0.001) reductions in lettuce As concentrations, down to 11% of the lettuce As concentration for untreated soil. For the Fe oxides and lime treatment combinations where soil pH was maintained nearly constant, the lettuce As concentration declined in an exponential relationship with increasing FeSO4 application rate and lettuce yield was almost unchanged. Iron oxides applied at a concentration of 1.09% did not give significantly lower lettuce As concentrations than the 0.54% treatment. Simultaneous addition of lime with FeSO4 was essential. Ferrous sulfate with insufficient lime lowered soil pH and caused mobilization of Al, Ba, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Na, Ni, Pb, Sr, and Zn. At the highest Fe oxide to lime ratios, Mn toxicity caused severe yield loss.

Item Type:Article
ID Code:3123
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