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Revista internacional de contaminación ambiental

Print version ISSN 0188-4999


IHL, Thomas et al. Concentration of toxic elements in topsoils of the metropolitan area of Mexico City: A spatial analysis using ordinary kriging and indicator kriging. Rev. Int. Contam. Ambient [online]. 2015, vol.31, n.1, pp.47-62. ISSN 0188-4999.

In order to generate relevant information for decision-makers to protect the inhabitants of the Metropolitan Area of Mexico City, 89 samples of topsoil were collected in urban zones to assess the concentration of toxic elements. For this purpose, the concentration of Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, V and Zn were quantified with X-ray fluorescence. To evaluate the pollution, we considered the maximum permissible limits, the contamination factor and the pollution load index. The spatial distribution was analyzed by geostatistical methods. Ordinary and indicator Kriging were applied to estimate the values at unmeasured sites and the proportion of the values exceeding the critical concentration for each element within a region. The study revealed that the Metropolitan Area of Mexico City has excessive environmental problems related to pollution. The concentrations of Cr and V are apparently not anthropic, while the high amounts of Cu, Zn and Pb are largely due to human activities. The pollution of Ni exhibits two single spots, while Cu and Zn contents are distributed from the city center towards the northern suburbs. The presence of Pb is spread evenly through the entire urbanized area. The probability maps clearly identify the most contaminated areas, which requires immediate action by local decision-makers.

Keywords : Pb; V; Ni; Cu; contamination factor; pollution load index.

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