M. Y. Gаritskaya, T. N. Kholodilina, M. S. Baranova



This paper presents data on the content of heavy metals in the road-side soils (transport lands) along the Orenburg–Orsk motorway and the Saraktash–Kuvandyk motorway in Orenburg Region, Russia. The objects of the study were two agricultural fields (wheat and barley) located between the motorway and the forest shelterbelt. The purpose of the study was to find the total content and the active form of heavy metals in the studied soils, to assess their quality by the degree of ecological adversity, and to determine the possibility of using them for cultivating crops. The comprehensive chemical pollution indicator (CCPI) and the ecotoxicological soil quality indicator (ESQI) were used to assess the ecological condition of the studied fields. The soil samples were tested to find the content of cadmium, zinc, lead, manganese, iron, copper, chromium, cobalt, and nickel. Cadmium had the highest active form percentage (9–17%) in the total heavy metal content in soils, sampled along the Saraktash–Kuvandyk motorway, while lead content was the highest (5.7–11.5%) in samples collected along the Orenburg–Orsk motorway. According to the CCPI and other established criteria, the entire territory along the motorways is in the critical environmental condition (16 < CCPI < 32), and the territory six meters away from the Orenburg-Orsk motorway is in the condition of environmental emergency (32 < CCPI < 128). The ESQI data was analyzed differentially for substances of various hazard classes. As for hazard class I metals, the environmental emergency has already developed throughout the territory under study, except for the areas located six and sixteen meters from the Orenburg–Orsk motorway that is in the state of environmental disaster. Therefore, the analysis of the ecological state of the studied road-side areas showed that, by the total content of toxic hazard class I metals, they can be categorized as an environmental emergency and environmental disaster zones, and crops, used for producing foodstuff and livestock feed, must not be cultivated in these fields.

About the autors:

Garitskaya Marina Yurievna, SPIN-code: 1889-5465, PhD, Orenburg State University, Orenburg, Russia, m.garitskaya@yandex.ru; Kholodilina Tatiana Nikolaevna, SPIN-code: 2977-6059, Ph.D., Orenburg State University, Orenburg, Russia, xolodilina@rambler.ru; Baranova Margarita, Orenburg State University, Orenburg, Russia.

Place of employment:


Key words:

roadside territory; soil; heavy metal; chemical pollution indicator; environmental situation.