Assessment of contamination, environmental risk, and origin of heavy metals in soils surrounding industrial facilities in Vojvodina, Serbia

Environ Monit Assess. 2018 Mar 10;190(4):208. doi: 10.1007/s10661-018-6583-9.


Content of potentially toxic elements was examined in soils from Srem (Vojvodina), to evaluate industrial facilities as pollution sources. Based on the distribution of the elements, the results of sequential extraction, enrichment factor (EF), ecological risk factor (Er), ecological risk index (RI), and statistical analysis, the current ecological status of the soils was determined. Elements in soils around the industrial facilities can be grouped into the five significant components derived by the principal component analysis (PCA), which explains 78.435% of the total variance. Al, Fe and Mg, and K and Mn are associated with two lithogenic components, respectively. Anthropogenic origin is identified for Hg and Cd. Mixed sources, geogenic and anthropogenic, are identified within two PCA components; one wich includes As, Pb, B, Zn, and the other: K and Cr, Ni and Cu. Cluster analysis (CA) corroborated the results obtained by PCA. The preliminary results revealed that the soils studied in a vicinity of industrial facilities in Srem have been exposed to different degrees of pollution. Among the characterized studied elements, Pb, Cd, Hg, Cu, Ni, and Cr are the main contaminants. Based on calculated EF, the studied soils show minor to severe enrichment with heavy metals. Ecological risk assessment results indicate that Cd and Hg carry the highest ecological risk level, and Zn and Cr the lowest.

Keywords: Boron; Cobalt; Environmental risk; Heavy metals; Soils; Statistical analysis.

MeSH terms

  • Environmental Monitoring / methods*
  • Manufacturing and Industrial Facilities*
  • Metals, Heavy / analysis*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Serbia
  • Soil / chemistry*
  • Soil Pollutants / analysis*


  • Metals, Heavy
  • Soil
  • Soil Pollutants