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Abstract

Heavy metal (As, Mn, Ni, Sn, Ti) concentrations were determined in soil and plant samples collected in different areas of the railway junction Iława Główna, Poland. Soil and plant samples were collected in four functional parts of the junction, i.e. the loading ramp, main track within the platform area, rolling stock cleaning bay and the railway siding. Four plant species occurring in relatively higher abundance were selected for heavy metals analysis, although in the loading ramp and platform areas only one species could be collected in the amount which makes chemical analysis possible. The selected species included three perennials (Daucus carota, Pastinaca sativa and Taraxacum officinale) and one annual plant (Sonchus oleraceus). The entire area of the railway junction showed elevated concentrations of heavy metals when compared to the control level. It was most pronounced for the platform area and railway siding. The concentration of arsenic, manganese and nickel in plants growing in these parts of the junction exceeded the toxic level. The highest contamination of soil and plants found in the platform area suggested advanced emission process of the analyzed metals from wheel and track abrasion. Literature review showed that the concentration of the investigated metals in soil was generally higher than that found in centers of cities and along traffic roads proving that the railway is an important linear source of soil contamination
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