Soil Pollution Characteristics and Ecological Risk Assessment of As at a Large-scale Arsenic Slag-contaminated Site

LIU Geng 1 SHI Ying 2 TIAN Hai-jin 3 LI Hao 1 ZHANG Lei 1 NIU Jun-jie 1 GUO Guan-lin4 ZHANG Chao4

(1.Research Center for Scientific Development in Fenhe River Valley, Taiyuan Normal University , Taiyuan, China 030619)
(2.Department of Biology, Taiyuan Normal University , Taiyuan, China 030619)
(3.Yunnan Jingshangda Environmental Consulting Co., Ltd. , Kunming, China 650228)
(4.State Key Laboratory of Environmental Criteria and Risk Assessment, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences , Beijing, China 100012)

【Abstract】A large-scale arsenic slag-contaminated site was selected to determine soil pollution characteristics and the degree of ecological risk of a large-scale contaminated site. In this study, 184 site soil samples, 101 agricultural soil samples, and 14 arsenic slag samples were collected, and the pollution characteristics and ecological risk of As were evaluated by using multivariate statistics, geostatistics, and the geo-accumulation and potential ecological risk index methods. The results show that the average As contents in site soil, agricultural soil, and arsenic slag are 1 333.0, 358.1, and 17 316.1 mg·kg−1, respectively. The degree of contamination of As exceeds the Grade III standard of environmental soil quality of China. The results of the vertical and three-dimensional distributions of contamination show that As is accumulated to different extents in different strata. The accumulation in the site surface soil is the most serious. The As concentrations in site soil samples are higher than that in agricultural soil samples. The potential ecological risk index method shows that all mean potential ecological risk indexes exceed 100 in different layers. Moreover, the percentage of samples in site and agricultural soils at medium pollution level is 58.21% and 61.39%, respectively, illustrating that the As pollution of soil samples from this contaminated site and surrounding farm areas is serious.

【Keywords】 large-scale contaminated site ; heavy metals; pollution assessment; ecological risk; distribution characteristics;


【Funds】 Open Fund Project for National Engineering Laboratory for Site Remediation Technologies of China (NEL-SRT201708) National Natural Science Foundation of China (41401236) Key Innovation Team Construction Project of 1331 Project of Shanxi Province, China Key Innovation Team and Key Laboratory Project of School-level 1331 Project of Taiyuan Normal University, China

Download this article


    [1] Forslund J, Samakovlis E, Johansson M V, et al. Does remediation save lives?—On the cost of cleaning up arsenic contaminated sites in Sweden [J]. Science of the Total Environment, 2010, 408 (16): 3085–3091.

    [2] Agostini P, Pizzol L, Critto A, et al. Regional risk assessment for contaminated sites Part 3: spatial decision support system [J]. Environment International, 2012, 48: 121–132.

    [3] Di Guardo A, Terzaghi E, Raspa G, et al. Differentiating current and past PCB and PCDD/F sources: the role of a large contaminated soil site in an industrialized city area [J]. Environmental Pollution, 2017, 223: 367–375.

    [4] Yao Y J. Risk assessment and remediation of soil contamination in China [J]. Environmental Protection, 2016, 44 (20): 25–28 (in Chinese with English abstract).

    [5] Liu G, Wang S Y, Niu J J, et al. The influence of different three dimensional models on Pb distributing prediction in lead-acid battery contaminated sites [J]. China Environmental Science, 2014, 34 (12): 3157–3163 (in Chinese with English abstract).

    [6] Tang X L, Wu Y Z, Zhang Y, et al. Study on distribution of chlordane and mirex in a typical contaminated site [J]. Chinese Journal of Soil Science, 2012, 43 (4): 942–948 (in Chinese with English abstract).

    [7] Liu G, Niu J J, Guo W J, et al. Assessment of terrain factors on the pattern and extent of soil contamination surrounding a chemical industry in Chongqing, Southwest China [J]. CATENA, 2017, 156: 237–243.

    [8] Zhong M S, Jiang L, Zhang L N, et al. Screening and evaluation of risk management strategies for a site contaminated by VOCs [J]. Research of Environmental Sciences, 2015, 28 (4): 596–604 (in Chinese with English abstract).

    [9] Butt T E, Javadi A A, Nunns M A, et al. Development of a conceptual framework of holistic risk assessment—Landfill as a particular type of contaminated land [J]. Science of the Total Environment, 2016, 569–570: 815–829.

    [10] Fang Y Y, Nie Z Q, Die Q Q, et al. Organochlorine pesticides in soil, air, and vegetation at and around a contaminated site in southwestern China: concentration, transmission, and risk evaluation [J]. Chemosphere, 2017, 178: 340–349.

    [11] Zhang J R, Li J, Xu W. Research on the application of in-situ biological stabilization solidification technology in chromium contaminated site management [J]. Environmental Science, 2013, 34 (9): 3684–3689 (in Chinese with English abstract).

    [12] Cappuyns V. Inclusion of social indicators in decision support tools for the selection of sustainable site remediation options [J]. Journal of Environmental Management, 2016, 184: 45–56.

    [13] Chapman P M, Wang F Y, Janssen C, et al. Ecotoxicology of metals in aquatic sediments:binding and release, bioavailability, risk assessment, and remediation [J]. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 1998, 55 (10): 2221–2243.

    [14] Higueras P, Oyarzun R, Lillo J, et al. The Almadén district (Spain): anatomy of one of the world’s largest Hg-contaminated sites [J]. Science of the Total Environment, 2006, 356 (1–3): 112–124.

    [15] Song B, Liu C, Chen T B. Contents and pollution distribution characteristics of arsenic in soils and sediments in Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region [J]. Journal of Natural Resources, 2017, 32 (4): 654–668 (in Chinese with English abstract).

    [16] Joseph T, Dubey B, Mcbean E A. A critical review of arsenic exposures for Bangladeshi adults [J]. Science of the Total Environment, 2015, 527–528: 540–551.

    [17] Martin M, Stanchi S, Hossain K M J, et al. Potential phosphorus and arsenic mobilization from Bangladesh soils by particle dispersion [J]. Science of the Total Environment, 2015, 536: 973–980.

    [18] Liu C, Song B, Zhang Y X, et al. Spatial variability and contamination of arsenic in soils of Xijiang river basin [J]. Environmental Science, 2018, 39 (2): 899–908 (in Chinese with English abstract).

    [19] Zhang X Y, Tang L S, Zhang G, et al. Heavy metal contamination in a typical mining town of a minority and mountain area, South China [J]. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 2009, 82 (1): 31–38.

    [20] Jin Y L, Liang C K, He G L, et al. Study on distribution of endemic arsenism in China [J]. Journal of Hygiene Research, 2003, 32 (6): 519–540 (in Chinese with English abstract).

    [21] Guo H M, Guo Q, Jia Y F, et al. Chemical characteristics and geochemical processes of high arsenic groundwater in different regions of China [J]. Journal of Earth Sciences and Environment, 2013, 35 (3): 83–96 (in Chinese with English abstract).

    [22] Rieuwerts J S, Mighanetara K, Braungardt C B, et al. Geochemistry and mineralogy of arsenic in mine wastes and stream sediments in a historic metal mining area in the UK [J]. Science of the Total Environment, 2014, 472: 226–234.

    [23] Zeng W T, Yang Y P, Zhang D Q, et al. Sources, distribution of main controlling factors, and potential ecological risk assessment for heavy metals in the surface sediment of Hainan Island North Bay, South China [J]. Environmental Science, 2018, 39 (3): 1085–1094 (in Chinese with English abstract).

    [24] Li Y. Impacts of arsenic pollution from nonferrous multi-metal mines on ecological environment and its governance analysis [J]. Earth and Environment, 2008, 36 (3): 256–260 (in Chinese with English abstract).

    [25] Muller G. Index of geoaccumulation in sediments of the Rhine river [J]. Geojournal, 1969, 2 (3): 108–118.

    [26] Hakanson L. An ecological risk index for aquatic pollution control: a sedimentological approach [J]. Water Research, 1980, 14 (8): 975–1001.

This Article


CN: 11-1895/X

Vol 39, No. 12, Pages 5639-5646

December 2018


Article Outline


  • 1 Materials and methods
  • 2 Results and analysis
  • 3 Conclusions
  • References