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E3 Journal of Environmental Research and Management

E3 Journal of Environmental Research and Management Vol. 2 (2) pp. 027-034, August 2011; © E3 Journals; ISSN 2141-7466

Assessment of heavy metal contamination in soil around hazardous waste disposal sites in Hyderabad city (India): natural and anthropogenic implications

Vandana Parth * , N.N. Murthy , Praveen Raj Saxena
National Geophysical Research Institute, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Hyderabad, India
*Corresponding Author E-mail:
Accepted 5 July 2011


Geo-environmental evaluation of heavy metals in/and around hazardous waste disposal sites located in the north-western part of Hyderabad (India) was carried out to define the degree of contamination of soil environment. Approximately 50,000 tonnes per annum of hazardous/industrial waste is deserted as landfill over 200 acres of area in the city outskirts, contaminating soil resource. In the present study, heavy metals (As, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn) in soil samples were analysed by X-ray fluorescence spectrometer to quantify their concentrations. Natural background values were used to delineate their derivation as geogenic or anthropogenic. The average concentrations of As, Cr, Pb was found to exceed the threshold and natural background values, whereas the upmost concentrations of Cu, Ni and Zn exceeded the prescribed threshold limit. Soil pH varies from 5.7 to 8.9 and is acidic to near neutral and alkaline in nature. Soil pH significantly affects the solubility and mobility of these metals, as most of the metals are soluble in acid soils than in neutral or slightly basic soils. The methodology used has proved to be a useful tool to separate geological and anthropogenic causes of variation in soil heavy metal content and to identify common pollution sources.

Keywords: Industrial waste, Landfill, Heavy metal, Geo-environment, Soil, Hyderabad.

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