Metal accumulation in soils adjacent to Via Dutra, Rio de Janeiro

Cassiano A.R. Bernardino*, Claudio F. Mahler, Ricardo E. Santelli, Aline S. Freire, Bernardo F. Braz, Luís A. B. Novo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


The emission of traffic-related metals has generated great concern
around of the world, due to their deposition on soils adjacent to roads,
and the subsequent impact on the environment and human health.
This study evaluates the levels of metals in soils neighboring the
Presidente Dutra highway (hereinafter designated as Via Dutra, its
common name), located in the State of Rio de Janeiro. Via Dutra was
inaugurated in 1951 and currently features a daily traffic of
approximately 30 thousand vehicles at the chosen sampling point (km
206). The pH and concentrations of several metals (Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe,
Mn, Ni, Pb, Sr, V, and Zn) were determined. Soil samples were
collected at different distances from the highway (1, 3, 5, 10, 15 m)
and at two depths (0-15, 15-30 cm). The results showed that samples
closest to the highway and to the surface presented higher pH values,
suggesting the effect of road abrasion. Unlike sampling depth, the
distance from the highway significantly influenced soil metal levels.
The concentration of metals decreased with increasing distances from
the road, for all the elements studied. It is noteworthy that Zn, Mn, Ni
concentrations increased by 1336, 1160 and 1002%, respectively,
between samples collected at 15 and 1 m from the road. In addition,
soil samples contained substantial levels of Cd, Ni, Pb, and Zn, when
compared to the reference values for Brazilian soils. The content of V
was above the acceptable limit indicated by the pertaining literature.
The concentrations of Co, Cr and Cu complied with background levels
established by the Environmental Company of São Paulo State
(CETESB). In conclusion, the results suggest that traffic is the main
source of metal contamination in soils adjoining Via Dutra.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 21st World Congress of Soil Science
Publication statusPrint publication - 2018
Externally publishedYes


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