Toxic Elements in Mountain Soils (Little Beskids, Polish Carpathians)
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University of Bielsko-Biala, Willowa 2, 43-309 Bielsko-Biała, Poland
Graduate of the University of Bielsko-Biala, Poland
Publication date: 2019-01-01
Corresponding author
Andrzej Jaguś   

University of Bielsko-Biala, Willowa 2, 43-309 Bielsko-Biała, Poland
J. Ecol. Eng. 2019; 20(1):197-202
The research consisted in analyses of occurrence of elements regarded as toxic (Zn, Cu, Ni, Cr, As, Pb, Cd, Hg), whose presence in the environment is mainly associated with economic-industrial activities, in mountain soils. The research area of about 5 sq. km. included hilltops and south-western slopes of the Magurka Wilkowicka massif. The massif is situated on the western edge of the Little Beskids near the area of Bielsko-Biała city. Concentrations of elements were measured in 50 soil samples taken in three zones: at the foothill of the massif (arable fields), on its slopes (forest areas) and on the hilltop (grassland). Also, pH reaction of the soil samples was determined. The research showed that zinc and, to a lesser degree, copper and nickel, occurred in the highest concentrations at the foot of the massif, near built-up areas, while the highest concentrations of arsenic and lead were detected in the hilltop part of the grassland. Concentrations of chromium, cadmium and mercury did not differ spatially. Analysed elements, especially zinc and lead, often occurred in concentrations higher than those regarded as natural. It is a disturbing fact combined with serious acidity of the analysed soils (almost 60% of the samples were very acid soils), which may increase mobility of metals. The research shows that the soil environment of the Polish Carpathians may be contaminated with toxic elements not only in the neighbourhood of built-up areas, but also in undeveloped land.
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