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                 Diploma Thesis of Lydia Steffan

         Transfer of Heavy Metals from Contaminated Soil
      into Organs of Soybean Crops [Clycine max (L.) Merr.]
                      in Cordoba, Argentina


The present thesis investigated into the transfer of heavy metals
from  contaminated soil into organs of soybean crops [Glycine Max
(L.) Merr.] in the peri-urban municipality of Bouwer  in  Cordoba
Province, Argentina.

Top soil and plant samples were taken from 15 sampling points  at
different distances to a former lead smelter.  The concentrations
of Cd, Pb and Zn were analysed with flame atomic absorption spec-
troscopy  in different soil fractions and roots, stipes, pods and
seeds and were compared to threshold values  of  different  coun-
tries.  Physico-chemical soil parameters were determined and seed
quality tests were carried out.  The Activity Ratio, the  Enrich-
ment Factor, the Ionic Impulsion and Hazard Quotients were calcu-
lated.  The transfer of heavy metals from soil to soybean  organs
was  examined  with  curve models and by calculating the Transfer
and Bioconcentration Factors.

The main results indicated that the  detected  concentrations  of
Cd,  Pb  and Zn of soil and plant samples were generally elevated
above background values. To some extent they  exceeded  the  con-
sidered  thresholds for soil and soybean foodstuff. This contami-
nation was seen to be caused by the overall environmental  pollu-
tion in the municipality of Bouwer.  The sampling site nearest to
the former smelter was found to be significantly  affected  by  a
contamination  with  Pb.  This appears to be caused by the former
smelting activities.  Phytotoxic effects could be observed and  a
potential risk to human health is given by the contamination lev-
el of soybean seeds.