FRESENIUS ENVIRONMENTAL BULLETIN, vol.22, pp.3751-3758, 2013 (SCI-Expanded)
This research investigated heavy metal pollution around the Afsin-Elbistan coal-fired power plant, one of the most important energy power plants in Turkey, by means of analyzing moss and soil samples collected in the neighborhood of the plant at different distances. The presented study also examines the relation of the obtained heavy metal concentrations with the dominant wind directions in the region. The heavy metal analysis is realized on 16 soil and 10 moss samples obtained from the studied area. A state of the art energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) spectrometry (Epsilon 5, PANalytical, Almelo, The Netherlands) was utilized in the experiments. The results (mg/kg between minimum and maximum values) indicated that the soil samples contained of Al (349-902), V (4.9-36.3), Cr (8.31-24.83), Mn (51.9-465.9), Fe (366-1049), Ni (4.01-17.75), Cu (3.8-24.8), Zn (10.8-384.6), Hg (3-8), and Pb (2-75.1) whereas moss samples contained Al (342-657), V (7.9-18.9), Cr (7.26-18.36), Mn (132.8-420.3), Fe (631-906), Ni (4.58-12.05), Cu (1.33-25.49), Zn (53.4-394.3), Hg (5-9), and Pb (11-83.1). The research has verified the increasing amount of heavy metal concentrations at closer distances to the plant and the high correlation of these concentrations with the dominant wind directions. The comparison of the obtained heavy metal concentrations with the measurements in Europe and Israel, and with the limit values for the human health, has revealed crucial pollution levels in the region. The possible consequences of these results are briefly discussed from the point of potential hazards to ecology and human health.