High thallium concentrations in soils from sites of historical Ag, Pb, and Zn mining in western Małopolska (S Poland)
1 Department of Botany, Institute of Biology, Pedagogical University of Kraków, Podchorążych 2, Kraków 31-054, POLAND
2 Department of Ecology, Institute of Botany, Polish Academy of Sciences, Lubicz 46, 31-512 Kraków, POLAND
The aim of this study was to assess thallium concentration in topsoil originating from sites of historical mining of Ag, Pb and Zn in western Małopolska (S Poland). Soil samples were collected from 63 sites, sieved, ground and digested in hot HClO4. Thallium concentration was measured with an atomic absorption spectrometer. Thallium concentrations averaged 20.84 mg kg-1 and varied from 4.42 to 49.82 mg kg-1. In all studied soils they exceeded values typical for uncontaminated soils (0.02 to 2.8 mg Tl kg-1). This indicates that Tl contamination may threaten the environment and public health. Routine monitoring of Tl contamination in southern Poland is required.
Key words: Thallium / historical Ag-Pb-Zn mining / old heaps / soil
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