The impact of emission sources of the company FOSFAN S.A. in Szczecin on cadmium levels in soil and plants

Edward KRZYWY? West Pomeranian University of Technology in Szczecin, Department of Land Cultivation and Environmental Chemistry, Faculty of Environmental Management and Agriculture, Jacek CIUBAK ? FOSFAN S.A. in Szczecin, Ewa MOŻDŻER ? West Pomeranian University of Technology in Szczecin, Department of Land Cultivation and Environmental Chemistry, Faculty of Environmental Management and Agriculture

Please cite as: CHEMIK 2013, 67, 7, 616-619

Abstract:
The objective of the study was to determine the impact of emission sources of the joint-stock company FOSFAN SA in Szczecin on the cadmium levels in soil and grass. In the spring and autumn of 2009, 2010 and 2011, soil samples from the 0?20 cm soil layer and grass samples were collected. Cadmium levels were quantified in the collected soil and grass samples. The obtained results indicate that the total cadmium levels in the soil and grass samples were higher than average concentrations, but did not exceed the values that would indicate contamination of soils and plants.

Key words: cadmium, soils, grass, mineral fertilisers

Introduction

In the atmosphere, cadmium originates mainly from emissions by the metal industry and plants producing phosphorus-based mineral fertilisers. The production of phosphorus-based mineral fertilisers utilises raw materials that contain cadmium. During the technological process of production of those fertilisers, cadmium may, through the plant emission sources, be released into the atmosphere and subsequently with precipitation into surface waters and soil. Soils in vicinity of plants producing phosphorus-based mineral fertilisers may contain excessive cadmium quantities, which may be absorbed by plants (Gambuś and Gorlach, 2001 [2]). Excess of cadmium in plants affects their growth and development, and the quality of crops.

According to Kabata-Pendias and Pendias (1999) [3], the cadmium levels limit in soils used for agricultural purposes has been established at 3 to 5 mg Cd?kg-1 of dry matter. Due to quick absorption of cadmium by plants and the negative impact of this element on microbiological processes in the soil, it is suggested to reduce that levels limit. According to the Regulation of the Minister of Environment (Journal of Laws of 2002 No. 165, item 1359), the cadmium levels in the soils used for agricultural purposes, forest lands, as well as built-up and urban lands may not exceed 4.0 mg Cd?kg-1of dry matter. Plants do not require cadmium for growth and development. This element is easily absorbed by plants through roots and foliage. Therefore, there is a risk of direct inclusion of excessive cadmium quantities into human diet. According to Kabata-Pendias and Pendias (1999) [3], cadmium levels in domesticated plants vary from 0.05 to 0.20 mg Cd?kg-1 of dry matter, and from 0.05 to 0.6 mg Cd?kg-1 of dry matter in grass. The symptoms of toxic impact of cadmium on plants occur at the levels from 5 to 30 mg Cd?kg-1 of dry matter. According to the studies of the Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation, cited by Filipek (2006) [1], cadmium levels in leaf vegetables, grass and other analysed plants designated for consumption should not exceed 0.03 mg Cd?kg-1 of fresh matter, and in plants used for feeds 0.1 mg Cd?kg-1 of fresh matter. Assuming that grass contains ca. 20% of dry matter, this corresponds to 0.15 to 0.50 Cd?kg-1 of dry matter. In view of the data cited above, studies were undertaken to determine the impact of cadmium emissions from the sources at FOSFAN S.A. in Szczecin, producing phosphorus-based mineral fertilisers, on the cadmium levels in soils and plants.

Scope and methods of study

The plant producing phosphorus-based mineral fertilisers was established in Szczecin in 1872. Following numerous transformations and changes, it is currently named FOSFAN S.A. Since 2006, the plant possesses the Integrated Permit, pays no environmental fines and operates in accordance with ISO 9001 and 14001. The plant is located at Oder riverbank, between Szczecin city centre and the town of Police. To the east and north the Plant is surrounded by the river Oder, Dąbie Lake and Szczecin Lagoon. Given the geographical location of the Plant, directions of analysis were determined (south-western, western and north-western). Along the determined analysis directions points were established at 200, 600 and 1,200 m from the emission sources of FOSFAN S.A. in Szczecin. At the established points, in the spring and autumn of 2009, 2010 and 2011, soil samples were collected from the 0?20 cm layer, as well as grass samples, to quantify the cadmium levels. Based on the granulometric composition, the soils were categorised as light, valuation class VIb to V. The dominant grass species at established points was dew grass. Cadmium levels in soils and plants were quantified in accordance with the applicable Polish Norms (PN ISO 11047 and PN EN ISO 11212?4).

Results

Total cadmium levels in soil samples varied from 1.02 to 2.51 mg Cd?kg-1 of dry matter in 2009, from 0.987 to 2.22 mg Cd?kg-1 of dry matter in 2010, and from 1.04 to 2.22 mg Cd?kg-1 of dry matter in 2009 (Tab. 1).

CHEMIK_2013_7_616_a

Total cadmium levels in the analysed samples fell within the norm specified by the Regulation of the Minister of Environment (Journal of Laws of 2002 No. 165, item 1356), which allows up to 4.0 mg Cd?kg-1 of dry matter in the topsoil of agricultural soils and in urban soils.

The highest total cadmium level was found in the soil sample collected in 2009 on the south-western direction, 200 m from the emission source (2.51 mg Cd?kg-1 of dry matter of soil). Also on other analysis directions samples collected at 200 m from the emission sources contained considerably higher total cadmium than at points located farther from the source. It can be determined that with the distance from the emission sources along the southwestern and western direction increasing, the total cadmium levels decreased. Along the north-western direction the soil samples collected in 2009 at 1,200 from the emission sources contained more total cadmium than those collected at 600 m. It should be noted that the point at 1,200 m from the sources was also nearest the currently unoperational steel mill and cement factory. In 2010 and 2011 total cadmium levels decreased with the distance from the emission sources of FOSFAN S.A. in Szczecin. Usually, soil samples collected in the spring would feature higher cadmium levels than those collected in autumn. This was caused by less leaching of cadmium into the soil profile in winter, and by absorption of this element by plants during vegetative period (Tab. 1). Total cadmium levels in grass samples varied from 0.85 to 1.42 mg Cd?kg-1 of dry matter in 2009, from 0.81 to 1.31 mg Cd?kg-1 of dry matter w 2010, and from 0.90 to 1.28 mg Cd?kg-1 of dry matter in 2011 (Tab. 2).

CHEMIK_2013_7_616_b

The average cadmium levels in samples collected at 200 m and 600 m from the emission sources of FOSFAN S.A. in Szczecin along the south-western direction were similar (1.15 and 1.16 mg Cd?kg-1 of dry matter). Along the north-western and western directions, the highest cadmium levels were observed in grass samples collected at 600 m from the sources. The lowest cadmium levels were found in grass samples collected at 1,200 m from the emission sources.

Grass samples collected at 200 m and 600 m from the emission sources exhibited markedly higher cadmium levels than provided by Kabata-Pendias and Pendias (1999) [3]. However, those levels did not exceed toxic threshold values (Kabata-Pendias and Pendias, 1999; Filipek, 2006 [1]). Usually, grass samples collected in the spring would have higher cadmium levels than those collected in autumn, which arises from more intensive absorption of elements by plants in the spring than in autumn, and leaching of cadmium into soils from decomposing grass during vegetative period (Tab. 2).

Conclusions
1. Total cadmium levels in soil samples collected around the emission sources of the chemical plant FOSFAN S.A. in Szczecin were higher than average concentrations; however, the levels did not exceed the threshold values that would indicate soil contamination with the element.
2. Cadmium levels in grass samples collected around the emission sources of FOSFAN S.A. in Szczecin were higher than average values, but did not exceed the values that would indicate contamination.
3. Usually, soil and grass samples collected at 200 m and 600 m from the emission sources of FOSFAN S.A. would exhibit higher cadmium levels than those collected at 1,200 m.
4. Soil and grass samples collected in the spring contained more cadmium than those collected in autumn.

Literature
1. Filipek T., Podstawy teoretyczne i analityczne chemii rolnej. Wyd. AR Lublin 2006, ss. 282.
2. Gambuś F., Gorlach E., Ocena i stan zanieczyszczenia gleb metalami ciężkimi w Polsce. Aura 2001, 7:10-11.
3. Kabata-Pendias A., Pendias H., Biogeochemia pierwiastków śladowych. Wyd. PWN Warszawa 1999, ss. 400
4. PN-ISO 11047. Jakość gleb. Oznaczanie kadmu metodą absorpcyjnej spektometrii atomowej.
5. PN-EN ISO 11212?4. Rośliny. Oznaczanie kadmu metodą atomowej absorpcji.
6. Rozporządzenie Ministra Środowiska w sprawie standardów jakości gleby oraz jakości standardów ziemi (Dz.U. 02.165.1359).

Edward KRZYWY ? (Sc.D.), Professor emeritus of West Pomeranian University of Technology, Szczecin

Jacek CIUBAK ? Ph.D. (Eng ), graduated from the West Pomeranian University of Technology in Szczecin and Szczecin University. He is, Management Board President, Chief Executive Officer of FOSFAN S.A., Szczecin

Ewa MOŻDŻER ? Ph.D. (Eng.), graduated from the Faculty of Environmental Management and Agriculture at the Western Pomeranian University
of Technology in Szczecin in Environmental Protection. She was awarded the doctor?s degree in agricultural sciences in agronomy at the same Faculty in 2006. Since 2007, she has been working as a Reader at the Department of Land Cultivation and Environmental Chemistry, Western Pomeranian University of Technology in Szczecin. She specialises in environmental protection,
agronomy and waste management.
e-mail: ewa.krzywy-gawronska@zut.edu.pl

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