Assessment of metals and organic contaminants in roadside soils and plants in Greater Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
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SubjectEnvironmental Assessment; Environmental Management; Highway contamination; Influence of Traffic Volume; sustainability; Toxicology and Risk Assessment
Soil and blackberry shoots and fruit samples were collected from 30 different locations along two major highways and residential areas in Greater Victoria and analyzed for various contaminants. The concentrations of metals such as Cr, Cu, Pb, Sn, Zn in some of the soil samples exceeded the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment soil quality guidelines for residential/parkland use. Metal concentrations in soils and plants collected along the two highways were elevated compared to those obtained from the residential areas. For example, the mean concentration of Pb in the highway soil samples was 144 mg/kg while in residential areas the mean was 64 mg/kg. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons concentrations were generally higher in the highways samples. Benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes concentrations in all the samples were below the detection limit. There was a significant positive correlation between traffic volume based on vehicle counts and the concentrations of select contaminants.
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