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Title Arsenic, selenium, boron, lead, cadmium, copper, and zinc in naturally contaminated rocks: A review of their sources, modes of enrichment, mechanisms of release and mitigation strategies
Posted by Mylah Tabelin
Authors Carlito Baltazar Tabelin, Toshifumi Igarashi, Mylah Villacorte-Tabelin, Ilhwan Park, Einstine, M. Opiso, Mayumi Ito, Naoki Hiroyoshi
Publication date 2018/12/15
Journal Science of the Total Environment
Volume 645
Pages 1522-1553
Publisher Elsevier
Abstract Massive and ambitious underground space development projects are being undertaken by many countries around the world to decongest megacities, improve the urban landscapes, upgrade outdated transportation networks, and expand modern railway and road systems. A number of these projects, however, reported that substantial portions of the excavated debris are oftentimes naturally contaminated with hazardous elements, which are readily released in substantial amounts once exposed to the environment. These contaminated excavation debris/spoils/mucks, loosely referred to as “naturally contaminated rocks”, contain various hazardous and toxic inorganic elements like arsenic (As), selenium (Se), boron (B), and heavy metals like lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), and zinc (Zn). If left untreated, these naturally contaminated rocks could pose very serious problems not only to the surrounding ecosystem but also to people living around the construction and disposal sites. Several incidents of soil and ground/surface water contamination, for example, have been documented due to the false assumption that excavated materials are non-hazardous because they only contain background levels of environmentally regulated elements. Naturally contaminated rocks are hazardous wastes, but they still remain largely unregulated. In fact, standard leaching tests for their evaluation and classification are not yet established. In this review, we summarized all available studies in the literature about the factors and processes crucial in the enrichment, release, and migration of the most commonly encountered hazardous and toxic elements in naturally contaminated geological materials. Although our focus is on naturally contaminated rocks, analogue systems like contaminated soils, sediments, and other hazardous wastes that have been more widely studied will also be discussed. Classification schemes and leaching tests to properly identify and regulate excavated rocks that may potentially pose environmental problems will be examined. Finally, management and mitigation strategies to limit the negative effects of these hazardous wastes are introduced.
Index terms / Keywords Arsenic; Selenium; Boron; Lead; Cadmium; Underground and tunnel construction