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Publication Type
Journal Article
Author, Analytic
Lalor, Gerald C.; Preston, John; Rattray, Robin; Vutchkov, Mitko K.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
International Centre for Environmental Nuclear Science
Article Title
Heavy metals in Jamaican soils part 4: Some potentially hazardous elements
Medium Designator
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Connective Phrase
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Journal Title
Jamaican Journal of Science and Technology
Translated Title
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Reprint Status
Refereed
Date of Publication
1999
Volume ID
10
Issue ID
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Page(s)
1-15
Language
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Connective Phrase
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Location/URL
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ISSN
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Notes
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Abstract
Soil is the basis of terrestrial life and contains a very large number of elements which are biologically active. Some of these elements are essential to life while others, for example, arsenic and the heavy metals, are hazardous even at quite low concentration. Many Jamaican soils contain relatively high concentrations of potentially hazardous elements associated to a large extent with the terra rossa and bauxite soils that overlie the White Limestone Group. Among these elements are antimony, arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury, the island-wide concentration distributions of which are reported and discussed. Antimony and arsenic are not considered to be environmental problems under the present conditions of land use. While the concentrations of cadmium in some soils are extraordinarily high there is no evidence that there are medical problems caused by cadmium ingestion. Toxicity from naturally occurring lead is unlikely to be of concern except in the Hope River Valley, where very high concentrations are associated with galena in mine waste and ore residues from the Old Hope Mine. These concentrations are also reflected in the blood lead levels of school children and the levels were high enough so that mitigation was carried out. The terra rossa and the morass soils are enhanced in mercury and more detailed work on the distribution and bioavailability of this element is recommended.....
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