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Environ Pollut. 2006 Nov;144(2):475-82. Epub 2006 Apr 5.

A test of sequential extractions for determining metal speciation in sewage sludge-amended soils.

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  • 1Environmental Toxicology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.


Sequential extraction procedures are widely used to estimate the quantity of trace metals bound to different solid fractions in contaminated soils. However, reliability of speciation of trace metals by these procedures remains largely unexamined. In the present study, the selectivity of each extraction step was tested by observing the effect of reversing the extraction order in the procedure. Two different sequential extraction methods and their reversed modes were used for metal fractionation in sewage sludge-amended soils. Significantly increased amounts of extractable metals (Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn) were evident in the sludge-amended soils compared to control soil by all extraction schemes; however, the amounts of metals extracted by each step were strongly dependent on the order of extraction, the type of reagents and the nature of the individual metals. Caution is advised in deducing the forms of soil metals from sequential extraction results from metal-contaminated soils.

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