Evolution of the Residual Pollution in Soils after Bioremediation Treatments
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AuthorPastor Jáuregui, Rocío; Panigua López, Mario; Martínez Garzón, Francisco Javier; Martín Peinado, Francisco; Sierra Aragón, Manuel
PhytostabilizationHeavy metalsPotential toxicityArsenic
Pastor-Jáuregui, R., Paniagua-López, M., Martínez-Garzón, J., Martín-Peinado, F., & Sierra-Aragón, M. (2020). Evolution of the Residual Pollution in Soils after Bioremediation Treatments. Applied Sciences, 10(3), 1006.
SponsorshipThis research was funded by the Research Project RTI 2018-094327-B-I00 (Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities) and the Research Groups RNM-269 and RNM-101 (Junta de Andalucía, Spain).
This study is focused on one of the most important spills that ever happened in Europe, the Aznalcóllar’s mine spill. The extensive application of phytostabilization in the area led to the implementation of the Guadiamar Green Corridor (GGC). Soil physicochemical properties were analyzed and the total concentration of Pb, As, Zn and Cu was measured by X-ray fluorescence (XRF); bioassay using Lactuca sativa L. was applied to assess potential toxicity. Two decades after the accident, some soils affected by residual contamination continue to appear in the area. According to regulatory levels, Pb and As concentrations are exceeded in around 13%and 70%, respectively, in the uppermost part of the soils (first 10 cm). The change in soil properties after bioremediation treatment positively promoted the reduction in the potential mobility of pollutants by the increase in pH, CaCO3 content and organic carbon. Anyway, the bioassay with Lactuca sativa, indicated that around 25% of the soils showed toxicity by the reduction of the root elongation in relation to the control samples. Our results indicate that monitoring of the GGC is still needed, together with the application of soil recovery measures to reduce the potential toxicity in some sectors of the affected area.