Table of Contents
ISRN Analytical Chemistry
Volume 2012, Article ID 153081, 9 pages
Review Article

Evaluation of the Pollution by Toxic Elements around the Small-Scale Mining Area, Boroo, Mongolia

1School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, National University of Mongolia, University Street 1, Ulaanbaatar 14201, Mongolia
2Graduate School of Urban Environmental Science, Tokyo Metropolitan University 1-1, Minami-Oosawa, Hachioji-shi, Tokyo 192-039, Japan
3Department of Physics, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2-12-1 Ookayama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8551, Japan
4Institute of Geography, Mongolian Academy of Sciences, Ulaanbaatar 14192, Mongolia

Received 27 January 2012; Accepted 15 March 2012

Academic Editors: B. J. Birch, A. Lewenstam, S. Polesello, and A. Szemik-Hojniak

Copyright © 2012 Bolormaa Oyuntsetseg et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The objective of this study is to investigate the contamination levels of toxic elements (TEs) in the vicinity of the small-scale mining Boroo area, Mongolia. Samples of surface soil, ground water and human hair were collected around the gold washing or milling places, grassland and village areas. After appropriate preparation, all samples were analyzed for major and toxic elements (TEs) by Particle-Induced X-ray Emission Spectrometry (PIXE). Soil texture, conductivity (EC), pH, total organic carbon (TC) and nitrogen (TN) contents were also measured. The enrichment factor (EF) was estimated to assess the level of the contamination and the possible anthropogenic impact in soils from the mining activity. The EFsoil for Cu, As and Pb were in the highest values around gold washing place, indicating that around mining area surface soils were highly enriched by those elements. The Mn, Fe and Ni concentrations of drinking waters exceed the WHO values. The mean concentrations of Ca, Ti, As and Sr were higher in hair of Mongolian miners than in the hair of normal people in Japan, Mongolia and Philippines. These results indicate that the area around gold washing or milling could be the main contamination sources of As and other toxic elements (TEs) in the surface soil samples.