Wspólnotowy Serwis Informacyjny Badan i Rozwoju - CORDIS

Environmental soil quality of the city of Torino

A definite representation of the environmental quality of the soils of the city of Torino is offered. Soil environmental quality was expressed through measurement of a large set of very effective general and specific indicators. This can be of use for Local Administrator to set future monitoring strategies, environmental thresholds or remediation goals. All the methodologies produced can be easily incorporated in Environmental Monitoring and Auditing Schemes (EMAS) in Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment protocols and would be of crucial importance for those actions, such as the Local Agenda 21, that include citizen's participation to the environmental management procedures.

Urban soils from the city of Torino, Italy were investigated. The soils were chosen among roadsides, parks and open spaces, riverbanks and ornamental gardens. Soils were sampled at a depth of 0-10cm and 10-20cm, giving a total of >300 samples. Samples were analysed for some general physico-chemical properties (pH, Organic Matter, Particle size distributions etc) and for their metal content. Five metals were investigated: Pb, Zn, Ni, Cu and Cr. Their pseudototal content was measured on all the samples and their bio-available content on a part of them. A subset of twenty samples was chosen for some specific analyses such as distribution of metals in the different soil particle size fractions and release of metals under reducing conditions. Some biological soil quality indicators and the speciation of metals were also investigated. Results show that urban soils of a large city like Torino are largely polluted, often exceeding legislative limits. Soils show a high variability, both horizontal and vertical, reflecting the anthropogenic influence on urban soils' formation and development. The accumulation of metals in the finest particles highlight the role urban soils could play in contributing to the air Particulate Matter. The high amount of metals that were found to be bound to the reducible fraction (according to the BCR-speciation method) do not seem to be actually released from urban soils if reducing conditions occur. The incorporation of soil data in a GIS system allows to spatially manage results and to easily produce urban soils maps, particularly useful in the case of contaminants. Results from this extensive campaign should be incorporated into decision-making processes where urban soil is an issue. Monitoring of some specific areas and remediation of some highly accessed sites should be carefully considered by local authorities to improve and protect citizen's health.

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Universita di Torino DIVAPRA
Via Leonardo da Vinci, 44
10095 Grugliasco
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