Title: Mercury distribution in soils and plants surrounding an industrial area in the South of Italy

Authors: Anna Santoro, Roberto Terzano, Matteo Spagnuolo, Saverio Fiore, Massimo Morgana, Pacifico Ruggiero

Addresses: Dipartimento di Biologia e Chimica Agro-forestale ed Ambientale, University of Bari, Via Amendola 165/A, 70126 Bari, Italy. ' Dipartimento di Biologia e Chimica Agro-forestale ed Ambientale, University of Bari, Via Amendola 165/A, 70126 Bari, Italy. ' Dipartimento di Biologia e Chimica Agro-forestale ed Ambientale, University of Bari, Via Amendola 165/A, 70126 Bari, Italy. ' Istituto di Metodologie per l'Analisi Ambientale – I.M.A.A., C.N.R., Contrada S. Loja, 85050 Tito Scalo (PZ), Italy. ' Research Centre ENEA-Trisaia, S.S 106 Ionica, km 419+500, 75026 Rotondella (MT), Italy. ' Dipartimento di Biologia e Chimica Agro-forestale ed Ambientale, University of Bari, Via Amendola 165/A, Bari 70126, Italy

Abstract: Soil and plant samples, collected nearby an industrial site in the South of Italy, were investigated to monitor the presence and distribution of mercury (Hg). The Hg contamination in soils ranged from ca. 1.5 to 50 mg kg−1 and was limited to the first 0.5 m. In general, high spatial distribution heterogeneities were observed. The spontaneous flora analysed contained an average of 0.2 mg kg−1 of Hg, and the highest Hg concentration was found in the roots of Glicyrrhiza glabra (0.43 mg kg−1). Hg pollution can be possibly ascribed to a chlor-alkali plant operating in this area in the 1960s-1980s.

Keywords: mercury distribution; chlor-alkali plant; Italy; soil contamination; environmental pollution; plant pollution.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEWM.2010.029690

International Journal of Environment and Waste Management, 2010 Vol.5 No.1/2, pp.79 - 92

Available online: 01 Dec 2009 *

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