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The UGR suggests a new method to detect accumulation areas of heavy metals in soils and sediments

11.01.2007
In the framework of the scientific studies of the scientific studies carried out to get to know what soils are contaminated by heavy metals, there is an important difficulty: differentiating which metals are in the environment in a natural way and which of them have increased by human action.

This last point is what we would call pollution and it is easy to detect now thanks to the advances by the doctoral thesis recently presented in the Department of Edaphology and Agricultural Chemistry of the University of Granada (Universidad de Granada [http://www.ugr.es]).

The study "Propuesta de criterios para determinar los valores de niveles característicos de metales pesados en suelos y sedimentos a partir de métodos entrópicos" (A criteria proposal to determine the values of characteristic levels of heavy metals in soils and sediments from entropic methods), prepared by Rafael Bellver Mancheño, under the supervision of teachers Juan Antonio Fernández García and Mariano Valderrama Bonnet, goes deeply into the knowledge of soil genesis in Eastern Andalusia, in an area of 350 square kilometres.

Most of the times, heavy metals can be naturally found in soils and sediments, but the study detects a series of points where it would be advisable to reduce or remove certain heavy metals which are gradually increasing. According to Bellver Mancheño, this topic can generate an excessive social alarm due to the association, sometimes mistaken, between the presence of heavy metals and pollution.

With the method suggested by the UGR [http://www.ugr.es], it is possible to observe the development of the concentration of the different metal elements studied. To this extent, new methods for data analysis have been designed to discuss the results of chemical analysis and compare them to other previously obtained in the same field of study.

Antonio Marín Ruiz | alfa
Further information:
http://www.ugr.es
http://prensa.ugr.es/prensa/research/index.php

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