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Sutkowska, K., L. Teper & M. Stania (2015). Tracing potential soil contamination in the historical Solvay soda-ash plant area, Jaworzno, Southern Poland. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 187, 11: 704, 1-9.


This study of soil conditions was carried out on 30 meadow soil (podzol) samples from the vicinity of the soda-ash heap in Jaworzno, supplemented by analyses of 18 samples of waste deposited on the heap. In all samples, the total content of macroelements (Ca and Na) and heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Ni, Pb and Zn) as well as pH were analysed. The element concentrations were measured using inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES). The materials examined were neutral to ultra-alkaline. Total accumulations (mg kg-1) of chemical elements in the soil vary from 130.24 to 14076.67 for Ca, 41,40–926,23 for Na, 0.03–3.34 for Cd, 0.94–103.62 for Cr, 0.94–35.89 for Ni, 3.51–76.47 for Pb and 12,05–279,13 for Zn, whereas quantities of the same elements in the waste samples vary from 171705.13 to 360487.94  for Ca, 517.64–3152.82 for Na, 0.2–9.89 for Cd, 1.16–20.40 for Cr, 1.08–9.79 for Ni, 0.1–146.05 for Pb and 10.26–552.35 for Zn. The vertical distribution of the metals was determined in each soil profile. Despite enrichment of heavy metals in the uppermost horizon on the top of the heap, the results lead to the conclusion that the relation of historical production of soda ash in Jaworzno to current contamination of the local soil environment is insignificant.