Heavy metal pollution in an area of the coastal dryland of the y Region

Sergio González M.1 y Enrique Bergqvist A.1

A research to determine heavy metal content and their spatial distribution patterns in soils and adult leaves from eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus Lab.), within the Quintero and Puchuncaví Municipalities (Valparaíso Province, V Region), was conducted from March 83 to December 84. Determined as 0.05M EDTA extractable, abnormal high concentrations of Cu, Pb, Zn and Cd in the top soN samples (0 - 20 cm) were detected. Data obtained from eucalyptus leaves were quite close to those from soils, both in type and relative proportion of heavy metals, as well as in their distribution patterns; this association was particularly evident for Cu, the most abundant heavy metal in the area. This environmental pollution with heavy metals, apparently comes from the emissions of particulate matter from the industrial zone of Ventanas; the main source shoud be a copper smelter, present in the locality.

1 Estación Experimental La Platina (INIA), Casilla 439, Correo 3, Santiago, Chile.