Preprint Article Version 1 NOT YET PEER-REVIEWED

Gaseous Elemental Mercury and Total and Leached Mercury in Building Materials from the Former Hg-Mining Area of Abbadia San Salvatore (Central Italy)

Version 1 : Received: 13 March 2017 / Approved: 14 March 2017 / Online: 14 March 2017 (07:57:35 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Vaselli, O.; Nisi, B.; Rappuoli, D.; Cabassi, J.; Tassi, F. Gaseous Elemental Mercury and Total and Leached Mercury in Building Materials from the Former Hg-Mining Area of Abbadia San Salvatore (Central Italy). Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 425. Vaselli, O.; Nisi, B.; Rappuoli, D.; Cabassi, J.; Tassi, F. Gaseous Elemental Mercury and Total and Leached Mercury in Building Materials from the Former Hg-Mining Area of Abbadia San Salvatore (Central Italy). Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 425.

Journal reference: Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 425
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph14040425

Abstract

Mercury has a strong environmental impact since both its organic and inorganic forms are toxic and it represents a pollutant of global concern. Liquid Hg is highly volatile and it can be released during natural and anthropogenic processes in the hydrosphere, biosphere and atmosphere. In this study the distribution of Gaseous Elemental Mercury (GEM) and the total and leached mercury concentrations on paints, plasters, roof tiles, concretes, metals, dust and wood structures were determined in the main buildings and structures of the former Hg-mining area of Abbadia San Salvatore (Siena, Central Italy). The mining complex (divided into 7 units) covers a surface of about 65 ha and contains mining structures and managers and workers buildings. In this work, nine surveys of GEM measurements were carried out from July 2011 to August 2015 for the buildings and structures located in the units 2, 3 and 6. Moreover, detailed measurements were performed in February, April, July, September and December 2016 in the edifices and mining structures of Unit 6. GEM concentrations showed a strong variability in terms of space and time mostly depending on the distance from the building hosting driers, furnaces and condensers and ambient temperature, respectively. In the Unit 2 surveys carried out in the hotter period (from June to September) showed GEM concentrations up to 27,500 ng m−3, while in the Unit 6 they were on average much higher and occasionally they saturated the GEM measurement device (>50,000 ng m−3). Concentrations of total (in mg kg−1) and leached (in μg L−1) mercury measured in different building materials (up to 46,580 mg kg−1 and 4,470 mg L−1 for total and leached mercury, respectively) showed for the same type of material highly variable values in dependence on the edifice or mining structure from which they were collected. The results obtained in this study are of relevant interest for the operational cleanings to be carried out during the reclamation activities.

Subject Areas

gaseous elemental mercury; hg-mining areas; abbadia san salvatore; central italy; total and leached mercury; building material; remediation

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