Ecological risk evaluation and source apportionment of heavy metals in park playgrounds: a case study in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, a northwest city of China

Abstract

Park playgrounds recently are suffering serious heavy metals contamination in China. It is urgent to assess the ecological risk and identify the sources for heavy metals. A total of 111 topsoil samples were collected from four park playgrounds in Xi’an, and the X-ray fluorescence (XRF) instrument was used to measure the concentrations of heavy metals including chromium(Cr), nickel (Ni), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), arsenic (As), lead (Pb), manganese (Mn), and cobalt (Co), respectively. Ecological risk (\( {E}_R^i \)) and potential ecological risk index (RI) were introduced to determine the pollution level and ecological risk, and the absolute principal component score-multiple linear regression (APCS-MLR) model was implemented to identify the sources for heavy metals. The main results were as follows. (1) Except As, the mean concentrations of measured heavy metals of four park playgrounds surpassed the soil background values of Shaanxi Province. (2) In each park playground, the \( {E}_R^i \) was below a “low” risk level (\( {E}_R^i \)=10) for Cr, Ni, Zn, As, and Mn; Cu was between a “moderate” and “considerable” risk level; Pb was between a “low” and “moderate” risk level; and \( {E}_R^i \) was between a “considerable” and “high” risk level for Co. Besides, the RI index was on a “high” risk level (120 < RI < 240) with an obvious spatial distinction. (3) The anthropogenic factors were the main sources for heavy metals, and mixed sources and natural sources were considered as the minor sources for metals. (4) The sources contributions for Co had obvious spatial heterogeneity in each park situated in four different urban planning districts.

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Funding

This research was supported by the Fund Project of Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Land Consolidation (grant no. 2019-JC11) and Scientific Research Project of Shaanxi Provincial Department of Education (grant no. 16JK1828). Thanks for the syntax checking from Master candidate Yi Bian and Master candidate Yan Wang.

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Correspondence to Bin Guo.

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Guo, B., Su, Y., Pei, L. et al. Ecological risk evaluation and source apportionment of heavy metals in park playgrounds: a case study in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, a northwest city of China. Environ Sci Pollut Res 27, 24400–24412 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-08744-x

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Keywords

  • Soil
  • Heavy metal contamination
  • XRF
  • Source
  • Spatial distribution