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Development of resin membranes as a sensitive indicator of heavy metal toxicity in the soil environment

Liang, J. and J.J. Schoenau . 1995. International Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry 59: 265-275


Ion exchange resins in contact with soil can act as a sink for metal cations, thereby simulate the action of plant roots. Ion exchange resins in membrane form offer additional advantages in ease of use and handling. A procedure was developed to assess the bioavailability of four heavy metals Cd, Cr, Ni and Pb via direct in soil burial. A growth chamber experiment with three representative crops (oats, radish and lettuce) was set up to determine the phytotoxic levels of the four heavy metals. The critical levels varied widely from crop to crop, and soil to soil. Lettuce was most sensitive to high concentration of metals. The toxic effects are more pronounced on sandier textured soils.

Key Words

Heavy metals, phytotoxicity, resin membrane, soil test, burial in situ.