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Field trials to assess the uptake of arsenic by vegetables from contaminated soils and soil remediation with iron oxides

Warren, G. P., Alloway, B. J., Lepp, N. W., Singh, B., Bochereau, F. J. M. and Penny, C. (2003) Field trials to assess the uptake of arsenic by vegetables from contaminated soils and soil remediation with iron oxides. Science of the Total Environment, 311 (1-3). pp. 19-33. ISSN 0048-9697

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/s0048-9697(03)00096-2


The uptake of arsenic (As) by plants from contaminated soils presents a health hazard that may affect the use of agricultural and former industrial land. Methods for limiting the hazard are desirable. A proposed remediation treatment comprises the precipitation of iron (Fe) oxides in the contaminated soil by adding ferrous sulfate and lime. The effects on As bioavailability were assessed using a range of vegetable crops grown in the field. Four UK locations were used, where soil was contaminated by As from different sources. At the most contaminated site, a clay loam containing a mean of 748 mg As kg(-1) soil, beetroot, calabrese, cauliflower, lettuce, potato, radish and spinach were grown. For all crops except spinach, ferrous sulfate treatment caused a significant reduction in the bioavailability of As in some part of the crop. Application of ferrous sulfate in solution, providing 0.2% Fe oxides in the soil (0-10 cm), reduced As uptake by a mean of 22%. Solid ferrous sulfate was applied to give concentrations of 0.5% and 1% Fe oxides: the 0.5% concentration reduced As uptake by a mean of 32% and the 1% concentration gave no significant additional benefit. On a sandy loam containing 65 mg As kg(-1) soil, there was tentative evidence that ferrous sulfate treatment up to 2% Fe oxides caused a significant reduction in lettuce As, but calabrese did not respond. At the other two sites, the effects of ferrous sulfate treatment were not significant, but the uptake of soil As was low in treated and untreated soils. Differences between sites in the bioavailable fraction of soil As may be related to the soil texture or the source of As. The highest bioavailability was found on the soil which had been contaminated by aerial deposition and had a high sand content. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Soil Research Centre
ID Code:4210
Uncontrolled Keywords:arsenic contaminated land iron oxides remediation soil vegetables SEDIMENTS SORPTION ENGLAND METALS
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