IJEP 41(6): 603-612 : Vol. 41 Issue. 6 (June 2021)
1. District Institute of Education and Training, Department of Chemistry, Uthamacholopuram, Salem – 636 010, Tamil Nadu, India
2. Vinayaka Missions Research Foundation (Deemed to be University), Department of Chemistry, Vinayaka Mission’s Kirupananda Variyar Arts and Science College, Salem – 636 308, Tamil Nadu, India
There is a great demand for mineral resources throughout the world due to a great increase in the population. Mining activity has increased largely due to these reasons. As a result of increased mining activity generation of waste is also increasing to a greater extent. Shervaroyan hills are the main source for various mineral ores, mining activities has become predominant in this area for more than five decades. The mining waste become dangerous due to its toxic level, reactivity, corrosivity and so on due to the presence of excessive minerals. Hence the present study aims to investigate physical properties, major elements, minor trace elements (heavy metals) and health effects of heavy metals by estimating ecological risk assessments. This is to highlight the impacts to concerned authorities to take immediate preventive steps for the betterment of ecology and mankind. The collected topsoil sample was digested, analysed and compared with Indian and WHO standards. The level of major elements found is arranged as phosphate < chloride < available nitrogen < sulphate < total organic carbon in the study area. Minor trace elements were estimated in the samples which were collected from the mining waste disposal area of Yercaud. The level of profuse heavy metals found is arranged as copper > arsenic > lead > cadmium. Ecological risk assessments of pollution load index average (5.339) of the study area is exceeding one, which proves it is polluted by heavy metals. The geo-accumulation index analysis (Pb: – 2.856, As: 0.051, Cu: 0.962) signifies that the soil in the study area is moderately contaminated with copper and arsenic heavy metal and not polluted with lead. To maintain biodiversity in the study area, mining waste should be treated properly before disposal and phytoremediation may be adopted to reduce the destructive effect of heavy metal in soil.
Mining waste, Heavy metals, Contamination factor, Pollution load index, Geo-accumulation index
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