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Abstract

The presented studies were focused on evaluating the utility of one of sequential extraction methods for evaluating the bioavailability of mercury in soils polluted by this element. Soil samples collected from horizons 0-20 cm and 20-80 cm were subject to analysis of the basic physical and chemical properties of soils. Moreover, the total content of mercury was determined and sequential extraction of mercury was conducted using a modified five-stage Wallschl├Ąger method. The analyses show that the studied soils are characterized by a variable mercury content, the highest in the surface soil horizons. Sequential extraction of mercury in the analyzed soils has indicated that the highest percentage content in the total content had mercury linked with sulphides. A high content of mercury linked with organic matter was also noted. The content of bioavailable mercury did not exceed 1.5% of the total content.
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