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1 February 2003 Levels of Cadmium and Zinc in Soil and Plants Following the Toxic Spill from a Pyrite Mine, Aznalcollar, Spain
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Abstract
On 25 April 1998, a breach of the tailings dam of the Los Frailes pyrite mine in southwestern Spain resulted in the release of 6 million m3 of acidic water and toxic sludge high in heavy metals. Contaminated material extended 40 km downstream, affecting agricultural land and parts of the wildlife-rich Doñana Natural and National Parks, including the Entremuros, a very important area for birds. We report on the concentrations, distributions and bioavailability of zinc and cadmium in soil and vegetation from the Entremuros in November 1998 and October 1999, following 2 ‘cleanup’ operations. Levels of Zn and Cd in soil increased significantly over this period, although this was not reflected consistently in metal concentrations in emergent macro-phytes. We recommend monitoring of further cleanup attempts in order to develop means of minimizing potential impacts to wildlife in the area.
Deborah J. Pain, Andrew Meharg, Gillian Sinclair, Nicola Powell, Jill Finnie, Robert Williams and Geoff Hilton "Levels of Cadmium and Zinc in Soil and Plants Following the Toxic Spill from a Pyrite Mine, Aznalcollar, Spain," AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment 32(1), (1 February 2003). https://doi.org/10.1579/0044-7447-32.1.52
Received: 5 March 2001; Accepted: 1 January 2002; Published: 1 February 2003
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