Determination of heavy metal content and pollution indices in the agricultural soils using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry.

Affiliation

Shaheen ME(1), Tawfik W(2), Mankoula AF(3), Gagnon JE(4)(5), Fryer BJ(4)(5), El-Mekawy F(3).
Author information:
(1)Laser Laboratory, Physics Department, Faculty of Sciences, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt. [Email]
(2)National Institute of Laser Enhanced Sciences
(NILES), Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.
(3)Laser Laboratory, Physics Department, Faculty of Sciences, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt.
(4)Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research, University of Windsor, Windsor, ON, Canada.
(5)Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Windsor, Windsor, ON, Canada.

Abstract

In this study, we determined the concentrations of heavy metals in the agricultural soils of Kafr El-Zayat city using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). The LA-ICP-MS performance was firstly evaluated by analyzing appropriate reference materials and comparing the concentration values found to those of the reference values. LA-ICP-MS was then applied to examine the content of 21 elements (Mg, Al, Si, Ca, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Rb, Sr, Mo, Sn, Ba, Pb, Th, and U) in 16 collected agricultural soil samples from Egypt. The soil quality was assessed by calculating the contamination factor (CF), enrichment factor (EF), and the geo-accumulation index (Igeo) of the measured heavy metals. The average concentrations of V, Cr, Co, Ni, and Cu were higher than the average worldwide background concentrations and exceeded the Canadian soil quality guidelines with values of 162.8, 113.3, 42.2, 88.1, and 70.6 μg/g, respectively. Multivariate analysis was applied to investigate the correlation and sources of heavy metals in agricultural soils. Cluster analysis indicated the clustering of heavy metals into three groups: Cr and Mo; Fe and Mn; and V, Ni, Co, Cu, Zn, and Pb. The results of principal component analysis (PCA) agreed with those of the cluster analysis and yielded three components that explained 81.13% of the total variance. The contamination factor (CF) of soils from all sampling sites showed moderate contamination.