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[en] A great deal of manganese and associated heavy metals (such as Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb, etc.) was produced in manganese mining, smelting, and other processes and weathering and leaching of waste slag, which entered rainwater runoff by different means under the action of rainfall runoff. It caused heavy metal pollution in water environment to surrounding areas, and then environmental and human health risks were becoming increasingly serious. In the Xiangtan manganese mine, we studied the characteristics of nutritional pollutants and heavy metals by using the method of bounded runoff plots on the manganese tailing wasteland after carrying out some site treatments using three different approaches, such as (1) exposed tailings, the control treatment (ET), (2) external-soil amelioration and colonization of Cynodon dactylon (Linn.) Pers. turf (EC), and (3) external-soil amelioration and seedling seeding propagation of Cynodon dactylon (Linn.) Pers. (ES). The research showed that the maximum runoff occurred in 20,140,712 rainfall events, and the basic law of runoff was EC area > ET area > ES area in the same rainfall event. The concentration of total suspended solids (TSS) and chemical oxygen demand (COD) of three ecological restoration areas adopted the following rule: ET area > EC area > ES area. Nitrogen (N) existed mainly in the form of water soluble while phosphorus (P) was particulate. The highest concentrations of total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) were 11.57 ± 2.99 mg/L in the EC area and 1.42 ± 0.56 mg/L in the ET area, respectively. Cr, Ni, Pb, Zn, Mn, and Cu in surface runoff from three restoration types all exceeded the class V level of the environmental quality standard for surface water except Cu in EC and ES areas. Pollution levels of heavy metals in surface runoff from three restoration areas are shown as follows: ET area > EC area > ES area. There was a significant positive correlation between TSS and runoff, COD, and TP. And this correlation was significant between total dissolved nitrogen (TDN), TN, total dissolved phosphorus (TDP), and TP. The six heavy metals (Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn, Mn, and Cr) in surface runoff of different ecological restoration areas were strongly related to each other, and were significantly related to the TSS.
[en] Polygonum perfoliatum L. is a Mn-tolerant plant as considered having the potential to revegetate in manganese mine wasteland. The glasshouse experiments were carried out to evaluate its tolerance and physiological response in different Mn concentrations (5, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, and 10,000 μmol L−1). Absorption bands of P. perfoliatum differed greatly in lipids, proteins, and carbohydrates. With elevated levels of Mn (5–2000 μmol L−1), absorbance changed little, which demonstrated that lower Mn concentrations had negligible influence on transport functions. As Mn concentrations in excess of 2000 μmol L−1, absorbance increased slightly but eventually decreased. Furthermore, a hydroponic culture was carried out in order to study its changes of ultrastructure with the increasing Mn concentrations (5, 1000, and 10,000 μmol L−1). Lower Mn levels with 5 and 1000 μmol L−1 had no breakage function to the ultrastructure of P. perfoliatum. However, as Mn concentration was up to 10,000 μmol L−1, visible damages began to appear, the quantity of mitochondria in root cells increased, and the granum lamellae of leaf cell chloroplasts presented a disordered state. In comparison with the controls, black agglomerations were found in the cells of P. perfoliatum under the controlling concentration of Mn with 1000 and 10,000 μmol L−1 for 30 days, which became obvious at higher Mn concentrations. As Mn concentration was 10,000 μmol L−1, a kind of new acicular substance was developed in leaf cells and intercellular spaces, possibly indicating a resistance mechanism in P. perfoliatum. These results confirm that P. perfoliatum shows potential for the revegetation of abandoned manganese tailings.
[en] A mining district in south China shows significant metal(loid) contamination in paddy fields. In the soils, average Pb, Cd and As concentrations were 460.1, 11.7 and 35.1 mg kg−1 respectively, which were higher than the environmental quality standard for agricultural soils in China (GB15618-1995) and UK Clea Soil Guideline Value. The average contents of Pb, Cd and As in rice were 5.24, 1.1 and 0.7 mg kg−1 respectively, which were about 25, 4.5 or 2.5 times greater than the limit values of the maximum safe contaminant concentration standard in food of China (GB 2762-2012), and about 25, 10 or 1 times greater than the limit values of FAO/WHO standard. The elevated contents of Pb, Cd and As detected in soils around the factories, indicated that their spatial distribution was influenced by anthropogenic activity, while greater concentrations of Cd in rice appeared in the northwest region of the factories, indicating that the spatial distribution of heavy metals was also affected by natural factors. As human exposure around mining districts is mainly through oral intake of food and dermal contact, the effects of these metals on the viability and MT protein of HepG2 and KERTr cells were investigated. The cell viability decreased with increasing metal concentrations. Co-exposure to heavy metals (Pb+Cd) increased the metals (Pb or Cd)-mediated MT protein induction in both human HepG2 and KERTr cells. Increased levels of MT protein will lead to greater risk of carcinogenic manifestations, and it is likely that chronic exposure to metals may increase the risk to human health. Nevertheless, when co-exposure to two or more metals occur (such as As+Pb), they may have an antagonistic effect thus reducing the toxic effects of each other. Capsule: Metal contaminations in paddy soils and rice were influenced by anthropogenic activity; metal co-exposure induced MT protein in human cells. - Highlights: • Pb, Cd and As in paddy soils and rice were higher than national and FAO standards. • Pb, Cd and As spatial distribution was mainly influenced by anthropogenic activity. • The HepG2 and KERTr cell viability decreased with increasing metal concentrations. • Co-exposure to heavy metals increased MT protein induction in HepG2 and KERTr cells. • Co-exposure to some metals (As+Pb) may have an antagonistic effect.
[en] Bauxite residue often has poor physical conditions which impede plant growth. Native plant encroachment on a bauxite residue disposal area in Central China reveals that natural regeneration may improve its physicochemical properties. Residue samples collected from three different disposal ages were assessed to evaluate residue micromorphology and three-dimensional (3D) aggregate microstructure under natural regeneration. The residue aggregates in different disposal ages were divided in two sections: macro-aggregate (2–1 mm) and micro-aggregate (0.25–0.05 mm). Residue aggregate micromorphology was determined by scanning electron microscope and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and the residue aggregate microstructure was determined by synchrotron-based X-ray micro-computed tomography (SR-μCT) and image analysis techniques. Natural regeneration may improve residue aggregate stability and form a stable aggregate structure. Calcium content increased whilst sodium content decreased significantly on the surface of residue aggregates. Under natural soil-forming processes bauxite residue porosity, specific surface area, average length of paths, and average tortuosity of paths all significantly increased. This demonstrated that natural regeneration may stimulate the formation of stable aggregate structure in residues. Further understanding should focus on particle interaction forces and agglomeration mechanisms with the addition of external ameliorations. - Highlights: • Weathering improved physico-chemical properties of bauxite residue and changed micromorgrophy of residue aggregates. • Weathering stimulated the formation of stable aggregate structures in residues. • Weathering changed aggregate microstructures, including pore throat and shape parameters.