Evaluating the mobile heavy metal pool in soakaway sediment, road dust and soil through sequential extraction and isotopic exchange

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Selective sequential dissolution (SSD) and isotopic dilution are two most commonly applied techniques for the measurement of mobile fraction of heavy metal present in the urban environment. This work examined the compliance between SSD proposed by the Community Bureau of Reference (BCR) and isotopic dilution technique (IDT) for determination of mobile pool of heavy metal contained in soakaway sediment, road dust, and soil sample. Heavy metals (Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb) were fractionated using the three-stage BCR protocol, while isotopically exchangeable metal concentrations (E-value) were investigated through isotopic tracers (111Cd, 65Cu, 207Pb and 66Zn). In general, total contamination level, E-value and BCR exchangeable fractions of different samples followed the similar order of road dust > soakaway sediment > soil. Results revealed that the E-value exceeded the BCR exchangeable fraction in all samples. In addition, the first three fractions of BCR which have potential to become mobile under certain environmental conditions were collectively termed as “potential mobile pool” and compared with E-value. It was concluded that metal extracted by weak acid underestimates the exchangeable fraction while the potential mobile pool extracted by three reagents overestimates the real mobile forms of heavy metals. However, better mobility characteristics of heavy metals can be assessed by coupling information obtained through sequential extraction and isotopic exchange.

Keywords: artificial infiltration facilities, heavy metal mobility, isotope dilution technique, sequential extractions, soakaway sediment, Tokyo

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