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Urban soil contamination with lead and cadmium in the playgrounds located near busy streets in Cracow (South Poland).

Urszula Aleksander-Kwaterczak, Aleksandra Rajca

Vol. 41, no. 1 (2015), s. 7-16

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The pollution of urban soil with heavy metals caused by traffic activity is increasingly becoming a great threat to human health and environmental quality. This paper presents results of research of lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd) distribution in land on playgrounds situated near busy streets in Cracow (Poland). Samples of sand and soil were collected from the most top layer (0–10 cm). Concentrations of examined metals are: Pb from 6.80 to 54.04 mg/kg and Cd from 1.60 to 2.61 mg/kg, respectively. The highest concentrations were found in sampling points near the busiest roads, and are particularly visible in the case of lead concentration in soil samples. For sand samples, metal concentrations are much lower. Although the results have not determined a high degree of soil’s contamination, they indicate the problem of the children’s exposure to toxic metals. Urban soil should be monitored particularly in such special places as playgrounds.