Pinho, C.; Fonseca, R.; Carneiro, J.; Araújo, A. Evaluation of the Environmental Risk of Contaminated Materials: Advice on the Most Appropriate Environmental Remediation Techniques. Geosciences 2021, 11, 164. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11040164
This work addresses the contamination of the sediments of an alluvial plain and riverbed of a tributary of the San Francisco River, in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, by potentially toxic elements from an industrial unit of metallic alloys production. This area was subdivided into four areas (A1, A2, A3, and A0 (background area)) where sediment samples have been collected followed by geochemical characterization and spatial distribution of the contaminants. This characterization was based on the (1) analysis of dissolved elements in the interstitial waters, (2) identification of exchangeable and carbonates bounded fractions, and (3) leaching tests using deionized water adjusted to the local pH. This analysis revealed high levels mainly in Cd, Pb, and Zn, in the interstitial waters and in the more soluble phases of sediments. The comparison between the levels of these elements in the leached extracts and the more soluble fractions corroborates the high capacity of these elements to be leached from the alluvium following precipitation episodes. The geochemical characterization and spatial distribution of the contaminants will allow, in the near future, a choice of the most appropriate environmental remediation technique(s) for the environmental requalification of this area.
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