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Journal of Chemistry
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 481324, 8 pages
Research Article

Study of Selected Metals Distribution, Source Apportionment, and Risk Assessment in Suburban Soil, Pakistan

Department of Chemistry, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad 45320, Pakistan

Received 7 December 2014; Revised 8 March 2015; Accepted 26 May 2015

Academic Editor: Rita Rosa Plá

Copyright © 2015 Javed Iqbal and Munir H. Shah. 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.


Composite soil samples collected from suburban areas were analyzed for Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Pb, Sr, and Zn by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Based on pseudototal metal analysis, Fe, Mn, Sr, and Zn were the prevailing metals while Cd, Co, Cr, and Pb were the least participants. However, based on bioavailability, Cd, Co, Pb, and Sr were easily leachable and might pose adverse effects to soil biota. In ecological risk assessment, contamination factor demonstrated moderate contamination by Co, Sr, and Zn and high contamination by Cd, Cu, and Pb; geoaccumulation index indicated heavy to extreme contamination by Cd and heavy contamination by Pb; enrichment factor revealed significant enrichment by Co, Cr, Cu, Mn, Sr, and Zn and extreme enrichment by Cd and Pb. Substantial human inputs for Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Mn, Pb, Sr, and Zn were also revealed by principal component analysis in the examined soil. Overall the study area was found to be contaminated at considerable/high degree.