Mercury Content in Upper Layers of Soils from the Areas with Various Impacts of Anthropogenic Pressure
 
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Warsaw University of Life Sciences – SGGW, Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Nowoursynowska St. 159, 02-776 Warsaw, Poland
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Marcin J. Małuszyński   

Warsaw University of Life Sciences – SGGW, Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Nowoursynowska St. 159, 02-776 Warsaw, Poland
Publish date: 2019-12-01
 
J. Ecol. Eng. 2019; 20(11):13–17
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ABSTRACT
Mercury is an element that is a significant threat to the human environment due to the high toxicity of both the element itself and its compounds. An additional threat is the possibility of mercury accumulation in various elements of the environment. Soil is one of the most important elements of the natural environment, which is the main link in the mercury circulation. The circulation of this element is associated with both naturally occurring processes in the environment and human activity. The occurrence of mercury in the natural environment poses a particularly high risk of recurrence of this element as a result of its re-emission. The aim of the conducted research was to determine the mercury content in the upper layers of soil taken from the areas with various impacts of anthropogenic pressure. The article presents the content of mercury in the top layers of soils from selected areas of two districts of Warsaw, ie Ursynów and Mokotów. These areas are heavily influenced by the human activity. For comparison, a soil sample was also taken from the area of the Solska Forest, which is an example of an area with a negligible impact of anthropogenic pressure. The mercury content in the analyzed soil samples taken from the area of Warsaw ranged from 0.0334 mg·kg-1 to 0.4004 mg·kg-1 in Ursynów, while the soils from the Mokotów area contained from 0.2320 mg·kg-1 to 1.3098 mg·kg-1. For comparison, the sample from the Solska Forest area contained 0.2544 mg Hg·kg-1. In order to avoid uncontrolled re-emission and, as a consequence, possible accumulation of this element in the environment, it is necessary to continue monitoring the level of mercury pollution, among others, in soil.