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Environ Int. 2007 May;33(4):502-4. Epub 2006 Dec 13.

Metal-contaminated soil remediation by using sludges of the marble industry: toxicological evaluation.

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  • 1University of Murcia, Department of Agricultural Chemistry, Geology and Pedology, E-30100 Murcia, Spain.


The major risks due to metal pollution of sediments consist of leaching to groundwater and potential toxicity to animals and/or plants. The objective of this study was to evaluate by means of an ecotoxicological approach the effects of the addition of cutting marble sludges on the mobile metal fraction of sediments polluted with heavy metals. The study was carried out on two sediments derived from mining activities in Portman Bay (SE, Spain) polluted by heavy metals. These sediments were mixed with sludges left after the cutting of marble. The results obtained by leaching experiments showed that the addition of marble cutting sludge, consisting mainly of carbonates, to a heavy-metal polluted sediment produces a decrease of available metal forms. The carbonate content seems to play a role in chemical stabilisation of metals and in a decrease of toxicity of sediments. The leached solutions have a non-toxic effect. The mild remediation by addition of sludge has moreover effects to long term.

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