A Study of Heavy Metal Pollution from Motor Vehicle Emissions and its Effect on Soil in Iskenderun, North-east Mediterranean

Authors: Sermin ÖRNEKTEKİN

Abstract: A tremendous increase in the number of motor vehicles in Turkey is leading to increasingly high levels of some heavy metals, especially lead, in the urban environment, mostly concentrated on the highways. In this study, we attempted to identify the variation of some heavy metal concentrations in both unpolluted and polluted soil by motor vehicle emissions. In order to accomplish this, an exhaust gas test station was built in an unpolluted area of iskenderun and 6.500 emissions from motor vehicles were measured during the analysis. Numerous samples were collected in a location that was heavily influenced by these emissions. The heavy metal concentration of soil was measured not only as a function of the number of motor vehicles but also as a function of depth of the soil. The results showed that considerable amounts of nickel and lead are emitted by motor vehicles and are removed from the surface of the soil by rainfall. Higher accumulation of these metals has been observed on the surface of the soil than in soil at different depths. This indicates that pollution in the deeper zones of soil was not prominent.

Keywords: Soil Pollution, Heavy Metal, Motor Vehicle Emission, Lead, Nickel.