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The impact of heavy metal contamination on soil health

Code: 9781786764065
Santanu Bakshi and Chumki Banik, Iowa State University, USA; and Zhenli He, University of Florida, USA

Chapter synopsis: Heavy metal pollution often results in the degradation of soil health. The term ‘soil health’ or ‘soil quality’ is used to express the status of the soil’s functional ability in the ecosystem, as indicated by its physical, chemical and biological properties. Contamination of heavy metals above threshold values can destroy the soil’s natural ability to perform ecosystem services, a change which can be irreversible. Heavy metal contamination of soils is a global challenge that needs to be resolved by the joint efforts of governments and scientific communities. The purpose of this chapter is to summarize the available literature regarding sources, impacts, indicators, risk assessment, remediation and the future problems of heavy metals in relation to soil and human health, and to provide directions for the improvement of soil management and the development of effective pollution control strategies.

DOI: 10.19103/AS.2017.0033.20
Table of contents 1 Introduction 2 Current levels of soil contamination by heavy metals 3 Natural and anthropogenic sources of heavy metals 4 Chemical transformation of heavy metals in soils 5 Bioavailability of heavy metals in soils 6 Effects of heavy metals on soil health: soil chemistry, biochemistry and microbiology 7 Effects of heavy metals on plant health and crop production 8 Indicators of soil contamination 9 Remediation of contaminated soil 10 Conclusions and future trends 11 References

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