Indexed on: 06 May '08Published on: 06 May '08Published in: Environment International
Trace elements and polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) were analyzed in soils from rural and light-industrialized sites (n = 168) of Province of Pavia (Northern Italy). Most of the trace element values fit in typical ranges of concentrations in soils and are similar to the ones reported for rural sites in Italy or sites with no direct anthropogenic impact. Total concentrations of 2,3,7,8 chlorine substituted PCDD/Fs in superficial soils ranged between 24.4 and 1287 pg g(-1) dw (0.5-28.9 pg WHO98-TEQ g(-1) dw). The North Eastern part of the Province presented significantly higher levels (p < 0.001) than the rest of the Province for As, Cd, Hg, Pb, Zn and PCDD/Fs. While the existence of a defined heavy metal polluting source for this specific site has been suggested, in the case of PCDD/Fs, profiles were not linked to any specific emission source fingerprint. In the whole extension of Pavia Province, OCDD/F dominated the 2,3,7,8 chlorine substituted congener soil pattern, followed by the 1,2,3,4,6,7,8 hepta-CDD/F congener. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) showed that this profile could not be associated to any described PCDD/F emission source fingerprint and was relatively similar to the baseline deposition of sites with no direct impact of PCDD/F emission sources independently of land use.