ASSESSMENT AND VARIABILITY OF SELECTED ELEMENTS IN SOIL SURROUNDING THE ELBASANI METALLURGICAL COMPLEX IN ALBANIA PUBLISHEDOdeta TOTA, Valdete VORPSI, Enkeljda EMIRI, Bujar HUQI, Fatbardh SALLAKU, Mira KARAJANI
Heavy metals are among the pollutants that should be monitored in order to obtain a coherent and comprehensive overview of quality status for a certain soil system. Some contaminants are conserved as they pass from organism to organism in a food chain, possibly resulting in progressively higher concentrations at high content levels. In soil systems, plants take the heavy metal mainly by their root system, as a natural requirement for their growth. If the sediment is contaminated then the amount of metals available for the plants will be high. The metallurgical complex of Elbasan is the largest and most important one in the country but at the same time represents a source of significant heavy metal contamination in the wider watershed Shkumbini River. Numerous efforts have been made to establish protocols and standards for the determination of the heavy and toxic elements in plant and soils to study their distribution, and establish pollution levels as well as their derived risks for the ecosystem and environmental stability. The number of measurements is restricted by the number of samples which were collected from the study area and this number is primarily limited by the funding of the analysis. Moreover, the samples were typically taken from vertical sections, which is in general a soil profile or a catena of soil profiles. The objectives of this study were to: (i) determine the degree of soil contamination by Cu, Zn, and Cd, with respect to distance from the metallurgical complex of Elbasan, Albania, and (ii) determine various metal fractions for selected soil samples. The data gathered from this study will allow the evaluation of soil-management techniques to limit mobility and plant availability of heavy metals and to ultimately minimize their transfer into the food chain.
heavy metal, soil pollution, toxic element