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Ecología austral

versão On-line ISSN 1667-782X


RATTO, Silvia et al. Assessment of organic and inorganic pollution in an alluvial soil of the Riachuelo River, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Ecol. austral [online]. 2004, vol.14, n.2, pp.179-190. ISSN 1667-782X.

An evaluation of soils from a coastline sector of the Riachuelo River, in Buenos Aires City, was carried out. Superficial soil samples (0-25 cm depth) were taken on perpendicular transects from the river to inland, and analyzed to identify organic and inorganic contaminants. Ranges of values for metals were: 1-5 mg/kg for cadmium, 4-23 mg/kg for arsenic, 25-497 mg/kg for copper, 8-43 mg/kg for nickel, 5-503 mg/kg for chromium, and 21-235 mg/kg for lead. Cadmium, arsenic, copper and chromium levels were higher than those considered dangerous by the Argentine hazardous wastes law 24051. Toluene was the most important organic pollutant identified. Concentration of metals and organic pollutant decreased sharply from the coastal river line into the land. Soil characteristics also changed in a short distance: pH increased and total carbon decreased along the transect from the coast into the land. Zinc and copper extracted by DTPA reached 12.5-47.2 mg/kg and 2.99-14.46 mg/kg, respectively, higher values than those usually found in this type of soils. Metals and hydrocarbons come from the river. Four meters far from the riverside, the concentration of metals diminishes to acceptable values. This variation shows the protective effect of the riverside. Remediation to make public access possible without risk for the population is recommended.

Palavras-chave : Microelements; Heavy metals; Hydrocarbons; Urban riverside.

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