Arsenic contamination and accumulation in soil, groundwater and wild plant species from Qorveh County, Iran

Naser Karimi, Mehran Alavi
The present study has been performed with the following objectives: (1) to determine the arsenic (As) concentrations in water, soil and leaves of plants growing in contaminated areas; (2) to evaluate the potential risk of arsenic in the Qorveh area and (3) to correlate the arsenic concentrations in water, soil and plants. To assess the potential of the native plant species for phytoremediation, plant, soil and water samples were collected from three contaminated villages of Qorveh County. The
more » ... eas were the Babagorgor, Mehdikhan and Hajiabad (Qorveh county), and samples were taken from May to December 2012. Water samples were collected from 18 as contaminated shallow wells of Babagorgor, Mehdikhan and Hajiabad villages which were used for drinking and irrigation. The soil sampling period was from May to December 2012 (eight months) that were collected from three As-contaminated areas (20 samples per each area). Plants were sampled from As-contaminated areas in Qorveh county. The plant samples collected from the same location as the soil samples. Arsenic concentration in water samples ranged from 16.31 to 1233.01μg/L which correlated with alkalinity; total dissolved solid, total hardness chloride, electrical conductivity, calcium, sodium, sulphate and bicarbonate, (p≤0.001). Total arsenic in soils ranged from 172 to 1635 mg/kg. Collected plants had low arsenic concentrations, especially among the most common wild species. Among all plant samples, Typha latifolia was the most effective foliar accumulator of arsenic. This study revealed a correlation between arsenic levels in soils and the tested plants. Furthermore, the ability of plants to accumulate the arsenic, expressed by their biological accumulation coefficients and arsenic transfer factors, were found to be independent of the concentrations of arsenic.