Research Article Open Access

Arsenic and Antimony Content in Soil and Plants from Baia Mare Area, Romania

Gabriela Oprea1, Angela Michnea1, Cristina Mihali1, Marin Şenilă1, Cecilia Roman1, Stela Jelea1, Claudia Butean1 and Cristian Barz1
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American Journal of Environmental Sciences
Volume 6 No. 1, 2010, 33-40


Submitted On: 26 January 2010 Published On: 28 February 2010

How to Cite: Oprea, G., Michnea, A., Mihali, C., Şenilă, M., Roman, C., Jelea, S., Butean, C. & Barz, C. (2010). Arsenic and Antimony Content in Soil and Plants from Baia Mare Area, Romania. American Journal of Environmental Sciences, 6(1), 33-40.


Problem statement: The objective of this research was to evaluate the degree of soil contamination with arsenic and antimony in Baia Mare, a nonferrous mining and metallurgical center located in the North West region of Romania. The soil in the area is affected by the emissions of powders containing metals from metallurgical factories. Previous studies indicated the soil contamination with copper, zinc, cadmium and lead, but there is few data about the actual level of soil pollution with arsenic and antimony. Approach: The soil samples were collected from 2 districts of Baia Mare: Ferneziu, which is located in the proximity of a lead smelter and Săsar district which is located along the Săsar River in the preferential direction of the wind over a metallurgical factory producing lead. As reference was considered Dura area located in a less polluted hilly area, in the west part of the town. Samples of soil and plants from the residential area of Ferneziu, Săsar and Dura districts were collected. The arsenic determination was carried out by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry and the antimony determination by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Results: In Ferneziu area, the concentration of arsenic in soil ranged between 0.25 and 255 mg kg-1. In Săsar district the arsenic concentration in the soil ranged between 5.5 and 295 mg kg-1. Regarding antimony, in Ferneziu area the concentration ranged between 5.3 and 40.6 mg kg-1; while in Săsar, antimony soils concentrations vary in the range: 0.9-18.4. Arsenic and antimony concentrations in plants were low for almost of the samples, both in Ferneziu and Săsar area indicating a low mobility of these elements in the studied soils. Conclusion: This study indicated the soil pollution with arsenic both in Ferneziu district and in Săsar district. The soil pollution with antimony was found especially in Ferneziu district.

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  • Arsenic
  • antimony
  • soil
  • plant
  • polluted areas
  • statistic interpretation