Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 155, Issue 1–4, pp 467–475 | Cite as

Effects of soil amendments on the bioavailability of heavy metals from zinc mine tailings

  • Virendra Misra
  • Anjana Tiwari
  • Bhaskar Shukla
  • Chandra Shekhar Seth


A study was conducted to test the effects of soil amendments on the bioavailability of heavy metals in a zinc mine tailings containing soil to plants, using the Indian mustard plant (Brassica juncea) as a test organism. Zinc mine tailing containing soil was amended with humus soil (HS) and phosphatic clay (PC). The zinc mine tailing containing soil (ZMTS) was characterized for heavy metals. It was mixed with PC and HS, and four mixtures were prepared. The first mixture contained ZMTS, and served as a control. The second mixture contained ZMTS and PC in the ratio of 1:1 (w/w). The third mixture contained ZMTS and HS in the ratio of 1:1(w/w). The fourth mixture containing ZMTS, PC and HS in the ratio of (2:1:1) (w/w). A slight increase in the bioavailability of Pb, Cu, Zn and Mn was noticed with increase in the incubation time from 14 to 42 days. The bioavailability of Pb, Cu, Zn and Mn from ZMTS alone in Brassica plant was in the range of 94–99% up to 42 days. Addition of PC and HS to the ZMTS soil reduced the bioavailabilities of Pb by (15%), of Cu by (20%), of Zn by (20%) and of Mn by (25%) in the mustard plant. The data showed that PC in the presence of HS had a high affinity for the heavy metals in the order of Pb, Cu, Zn and Mn.


Bioavailability Brassica juncea Heavy metals Humus soil Immobilization Phosphatic clay Zinc mine tailings 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Virendra Misra
    • 1
  • Anjana Tiwari
    • 1
  • Bhaskar Shukla
    • 1
  • Chandra Shekhar Seth
    • 1
  1. 1.Ecotoxicology DivisionIndian Institute of Toxicology ResearchM.G. MargIndia

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