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Abstract

The research aim was to determine the long-term impact of the mine waste stored at the coal waste dump Hałda Ruda on the content of heavy metals in the bottom sediments of the Bytomka River. It is a watercourse flowing along this coal waste dump and has been under its influence for over fifty years. The research also attempted to determine the seasonality of changes (2 years) and mobility of selected elements. The article presents total contents of Cr, Mn, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Cd and Pb in the bottom sediments collected from the Bytomka River. It also focuses on the distribution of these elements in particular geochemical fractions determined with the Tessier's sequential chemical extraction procedure. Total element contents were determined with an EDPXRF (Energy Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence) technique. The extractants of particular Tessier's fractions were determined quantitatively with an ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry) spectrometer. The research results show that the stored waste significantly influences the contents of heavy metals in the Bytomka River bottom sediments. The lowest concentration of heavy metals was observed at the B1 spot (above the dump), while the highest one was measured at the B3 spot (below the dump). Sequential chemical extraction of the bottom sediments indicates that the Zn content in the ion-exchange and carbonate fractions diminished within a year. Nevertheless, Zn bound to Fe and Mn oxides acted in the opposite way. Mn, Zn and Pb are the most dangerous elements from the viewpoint of environmental hazards, as their total concentrations were high. Moreover, their high contents were observed in the most mobile (ion-exchange and carbonate) fractions. Extremely toxic Cd was bound to the oxide fraction to the largest extent. Cu was mainly bound to the organic fraction while environmentally hazardous Cr was bound to the residual fraction.
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Abstract

Uranium concentrations in groundwater taken from private drilled wells have been never determined in Poland, implying a lack of available data to quantify the human exposure to U through drinking water consumption, especially in rural areas influenced by mining activities. The main aim of the study was the assessment of human health risk related to the consumption of well waters containing U, collected from selected rural areas of the Lower Silesian region (Poland). The random daytime (RDT) sampling method was applied to the collection of well waters from three control study areas (CSA): Mniszków (CSA-A), Stara Kamienica/M. Kamienica/Kopaniec (CSA-B) and Kletno (CSA-C). The analyses of RDT samples were performed by validated method based on inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Uranium concentration ranges in well waters and the estimated geometric means for individual control study areas were: 0.005-1.03 μg/L and 0.052 μg/L (CSA-A), 0.027-10.6 μg/L and 0.40 μg/L (CSA-B), and 0.006-27.1 μg/L and 0.38 μg/L (CSA-C). The average and individual chronic daily intakes (CDI) of U by drinking water pathway (adults/children) were in the ranges of: 0.0017-0.013/0.0052-0.040 μg · kg-1 · day-1 and 0.0002-0.90/0.0005-2.71 μg · kg-1 · day-1. The average %TDI and ranges of individual %TDI (adults/children) were: 0.17%/0.52% and 0.02-3.4%/0.05-10.3% (CSA-A), 1.3%/4.0% and 0.09-35%/0.27-106% (CSA-B), and 1.3%/3.8% and 0.02-90%/0.06-271% (CSA-C). The estimated average CDI values of U through well water are significantly lower than the TDI (1 μg · kg-1 · day-1), while for individual CDI values the contribution to the TDI can reach even 90% (adults) and 271% (children), indicating essential human health risk for children consuming well water from private drilled wells located in CSA-B and CSA-C (5.3% of total number of samples collected).
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