Pollution and health-risk assessments of Cr-contaminated soils from a tannery waste lagoon, Hebei, north China: With emphasis on Cr speciation

Panpan Xie, Zhenao Liu, Jin Li, Diandong Ju, Xiaoyong Ding, Yuze Wang, James C. Hower

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In this paper, heavy metals (i.e., V, Cr, Co, Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb, and Sb) in soils from a tannery waste lagoon, Hebei, north China were investigated. Element concentrates were determined by a portable X-ray fluorescence in situ and an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry in the lab. Two sets of indexes, including geological accumulation index, contamination factor, and pollution load index, and hazard quotient and total carcinogenic risk were adopted to evaluate the pollution and health-risk of heavy metals. A scanning electron microscopy in conjunction with an energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and an X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy was used to observe chromium occurrence and speciation. With an average of 6493.11 mg/kg, chromium contents in the lagoon soils reached up to 12971.19 mg/kg, 211-times higher than the threshold of Chinese soils (61.00 mg/kg). Elevated Cr contents resulted in significantly high pollution and noncarcinogenic and carcinogenic risks in the studied area. Chromium in most soils occurred predominately as Cr3+ (60–74%), and to a lesser extent, Cr6+. The mechanism responsible for decreasing Cr6+ percentages in soils with increasing depth was summarized: Cr6+ favors aqueous environment; soil moisture decreased with increasing depth; in soils especially in the lower portion, Cr6+ was reduced by Fe0 and Fe2, transforming into Cr3+ and Fe3+. In addition, the alkaline condition promoted Cr3+ to precipitate, resulting more Cr3+ absorbing in soils. The intimate association of Cr and Fe in soils (i.e., Cr mainly occurred in Fe oxides and dolomite) further confirmed our assumptions. A combined application of microorganism (e.g., Aeromonas hydrophila) and biochar (prepared from maize stalk or peanut shells) were recommended to alleviate Cr pollution in the soils.

Original languageEnglish
Article number137908
StatePublished - Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd


  • Contaminated soil
  • Cr speciation
  • Health-risk assessment
  • Pollution assessment
  • Tannery waste

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'Pollution and health-risk assessments of Cr-contaminated soils from a tannery waste lagoon, Hebei, north China: With emphasis on Cr speciation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this