Chemical Speciation and Fate of Selected Heavy Metals in Soils Strongly Polluted by Copper Smelters

  • A. Karczewska
Part of the Environmental Science book series (ESE)


In Poland, mining and smelting of non-ferrous metals are two important sources of heavy metals in the environment. Being one of the most important European centres for copper metallurgy, LGOM (the copper industry region of Legnica and Glogów, situated in the south-western part of Poland) contributes to environmental contamination by releasing phytotoxic gases and metallurgical dusts into the air, and to the surrounding soils and vegetation. Over the last forty years, three copper smelters have discharged large amounts of gaseous pollutants and heavy metal containing dust (especially copper and lead, but also zinc, cadmium, arsenic and manganese). Dust depositions and the direct influence of phytotoxic gases (in particular of sulphur dioxide) on plants caused degradation of agricultural systems, including soils, not only close to the smelters, but also over a distance of more than 10 km from the emission source, where adverse effects on the crop yield and its quality were observed. The degree of soil degradation depended on the distance from the smelter and also on other factors, such as topography, climatic conditions and, of course, on particular soil properties.


Heavy Metal Polluted Soil Copper Smelter Metal Mobilisation Dust Deposition 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1996

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  • A. Karczewska

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