Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Environ Monit Assess. 2013 Jul;185(7):5737-48. doi: 10.1007/s10661-012-2980-7. Epub 2012 Nov 10.

Reference values for heavy metals in soils of the Brazilian agricultural frontier in Southwestern Amazônia.

Author information

Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, University of Sao Paulo (ESALQ/USP), C.P. 9, Piracicaba, São Paolo, Brazil, 13418-900.


Guideline values are used to identify polluted or contaminated areas based on background values. Brazilian law establishes three guideline values for pollutants: a quality reference value (QRV), a prevention value, and an intervention value. Reference values refer to the natural concentration of an element or a substance in soils that have not been modified by anthropogenic impacts. These values inform assessments of soil quality and are used to establish maximum permissible limits. The objective of this study was to determine the natural levels and reference values for Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn in samples from the surface layer (0-20 cm) of 19 representative soils of the states of Mato Grosso and Rondônia, on Brazil's agricultural frontier. Pseudo-total metal concentrations were obtained following microwave-assisted digestion using the aqua regia and EPA3051 methods. QRVs were calculated for each element as the 75th and 90th percentiles of the frequency distribution of the data. Natural levels of heavy metals in the soil samples followed the order: Cr > Zn > Cu > Co > Pb > Ni > and Cd (aqua regia) and Cr > Co > Cu > Pb > Zn > Ni > Cd (EPA3051). These values are generally lower than those reported in the Brazilian and international literature, which highlights the importance of establishing reference values for each state or for each soil type, taking into account the geomorphological, pedological, and geological diversity of the region under study.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Springer
    Loading ...
    Support Center