Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo
versão impressa ISSN 0100-0683
BARROS, Yara Jurema et al. Heavy metal contents and mineralogical characterization of soils from the Santa Cândida Municipal Cemetery, in Curitiba (PR, brazil). Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Solo [online]. 2008, vol.32, n.4, pp. 1763-1773. ISSN 0100-0683. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-06832008000400041.
The metal pieces of coffins, such as handles and adornments, are considered the main source of soil heavy metal contamination. Other sources of pollutants are the products used in the body embalming, wood preservatives and fluids released from body decomposition. The purpose of this study was to investigate the clay fraction mineralogy and heavy metal contents of soils from Santa Cândida Municipal Cemetery, in Curitiba (PR), and estimate the contamination risk. The samples were collected at three depths (0-20, 20-80 and 80-120 cm) at seven selected points, representing two parent materials (granite/gneiss and claystone) and two burial modalities (unmarked graves and mausoleum area). The clay fraction was studied by X ray diffractometry and thermal analysis, and Fe and Al contents were determined, after acid ammonium oxalate (amorphous Fe and Al oxides) and sodium citrate-bicarbonate-dithionite (crystalline Fe oxides) extractions, by atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS). The total and exchangeable heavy metal contents were determined by AAS, after sample digestion with concentrated HF and BaCl2 1 mol L-1 solution, respectively. The predominance of kaolinite and occurrence of vermiculite with Al-hydroxy interlayers and smectite determined the high values of soil CEC. Heavy metal contents were higher in the mausoleum area, where the highest Cr and Pb contents were found (516.3 and 260.2 mg kg-1, respectively). The lower metal contamination in the area of unmarked graves may be attributed to simpler burial practices, with less potential heavy metal sources, such as wood preservatives and metal parts of coffins. No cause-effect relation was observed between the chemical and mineralogical soil characteristics, in part determined by the parent material, and the heavy metal contents in the studied area.
Palavras-chave : kaolinite; 2:1 clay minerals; cation exchange capacity; soil contamination.