DISTRIBUTION AND FRACTIONATION OF HEAVY METALS IN SOLID WASTE FROM SELECTED SITES IN THE INDUSTRIAL BELT OF DELHI, INDIA

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Abstract

Solid waste samples were collected from five small-scale industrial sites in the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi. These industrial sites represent the regional spread of the industrial belt in the NCT of Delhi. Solid waste samples were digested using aqua-regia and HF in air tight teflon bombs for the quantitative analysis of heavy metals (Hg, Pb, Cd, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu and Zn) by GBC model 902 atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Hg was analysed using hydrid generator attachment. Beside this sequential extraction was used to fractionate five heavy metals (Pb, Ni, Cd, Cu and Zn) into six operationally defined phases, viz. water soluble, exchangeable, carbonate-bound, Fe-Mn oxides, organic-bound and residual fractions to ascertain the relative mobility of these metals. The result obtained showed metal concentration to be in the range of Hg 0.42–2.3; Pb 23–530; Cd 0.14–224; Mn 494–19 964; Fe 35 684–233 119; Ni 192–1534; Cu 3065–10 144 and Zn 116–23 321 (all units in mg kg−1) in all the industrial areas studied. The fractionated toxic metals like Pb, Ni and Cd were observed to be in the range of 25–35, 15–50 and 40–50%, respectively, in mobile or bio-available fractions of solid waste. As this waste is often disposed-off by the roadsides, low lying areas, abandoned quarries or in landfill sites which are often not properly planned, thus posing potential risk to ground and surface water quality to millions of people living downstream.

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