Roads and Bridges - Drogi i Mosty
18, 2, 2019, 127-134

Testing the concentration of trace metals in soils near roads with varied traffic intensity

Michał Ćwiąkała Mail
Road and Bridge Research Institute, 1, Instytutowa str., 03-302 Warsaw
Joanna Korzeniowska Mail
Pedagogical University of Cracow, 2, Podchorążych str., 30-084 Cracow
Cezary Kraszewski Mail
Road and Bridge Research Institute, 1, Instytutowa str., 03-302 Warsaw
Leszek Rafalski Mail
Road and Bridge Research Institute, 1, Instytutowa str., 03-302 Warsaw
Published: 2019-06-30


Motor transport affects the state of the natural environment and results in the accumulation of trace metals in roadside soils. The trace metal concentrations in roadside soils depend mainly on the distance from the road and the traffic intensity. The aim of the investigations was to determine the range of the environmental impact of the (Cracow-Zakopane) transport route and the effect of traffic intensity on the concentrations of trace metals in the soil. Three road sections differing in their traffic intensity were selected for this purpose. The concentrations of Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn in soil samples taken from a depth of 0-30 cm at a distance of 5, 10, 50 and 100 metres from the road were spectrophotometrically determined. The metal concentrations in the surroundings of the Cracow-Myślenice road carrying heavy traffic were found to be several times higher than the ones in the soils near the Łopuszna-Dursztyn local road with low traffic intensity. The largest differences in trace metal concentrations in the soils were found for nickel (four times higher concentrations along the Cracow-Myślenice road) at all the considered distances and for copper (three times higher) at the distances of 5 and 10 metres. In comparison with the reference areas, in the vicinity of the investigated roads the concentrations of Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn in the soil were found to be elevated. The fact that the concentrations of the trace metals decrease with increasing distance from the road's edge clearly indicates the traffic-related origin of the contaminants.


contamination of roadside soils, content of trace metals in soil, environmental impact of road traffic, trace metals, traffic intensity.

Full Text:



Zechmeister H., Hagendorfer H., Hohenwallner D., Hanus-Illnar A., Riss A.: Analyses of platinum group elements in mosses as indicators of road traffic emissions in Austria. Atmospheric Environment, 40, 40, 2006, 7720-7732

Gunawardena J., Egodawatta P., Ayoko G., Goonetilleke A.: Role of traffic in atmospheric accumulation of heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Atmospheric Environment, 54, 2012, 502-510

Monaci F., Moni F., Lanciotti E., Grechi D., Bargagli R.: Biomonitoring of airborne metals in Urban environments: new tracers of vehicle emission, in place of lead. Environmental Pollution, 107, 3, 2000, 21-327

Davis A.P., Shokouhian M., Ni S.: Loading estimates of lead, copper, cadmium and zinc in urban runoff from specific sources. Chemosphere, 44, 5, 2001, 997-1009

Li X., Poon Ch.S., Liu P.S.: Heavy metal contamination of urban soils and street dusts in Hong Kong. Applied Geochemistry, 16, 11-12, 2001, 1361-1368

Weckwerth G.: Verification of traffic emitted aerosol components in the ambient air of Cologne (Germany). Atmospheric Environment, 35, 32, 2001, 5525-5536

Harrison R., Tilling R., Romero M., Harrad S., Jarvis K.: A study of trace metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the roadside environment. Atmospheric Environment, 37, 17, 2003, 2391-2402

Garg B., Cadle S., Malawa P., Groblicki P., Laroo Ch., Parr G.: Brake wear particulate matter emissions. Environmental Science and Technology, 34, 21, 2000, 4463-4469

Sternbeck J., Sjödin Ĺ., Andréasson K.: Metal emissions from road traffic and the influence of resuspension-results from two tunnel studies. Atmospheric Environment, 36, 30, 2002, 4735-4744

Laschober Ch., Limbeck A., Rendl J., Puxbaum H.: Particulate emissions from on-road vehicles in the Kaisermühlen-tunnel (Vienna, Austria). Atmospheric Environment, 38, 14, 2004, 2187-2195

Lindgren Ĺ: Asphalt wear and pollution transport. Science of the Total Environment, 189-190, 1996, 281-286

Rafalski L.: Podbudowy drogowe. IBDiM, Studia i Materiały, Zeszyt 59, 2007, Warszawa

Ćwiąkała M., Korzeniowska J., Kraszewski C., Widuch A.: Soil stabilisation with the use of hydraulic road binders on the basis of brown coal fly ash. Roads and Bridges - Drogi i Mosty, 11, 3, 2012, 195-214

Aleksandrov A.S., Semenova T.W., Aleksandrova N.P.: Analysis of permanent deformations in granular materials of road structures. Roads and Bridges - Drogi i Mosty, 15, 4, 2016, 271-284, DOI: 10.7409/rabdim.016.017

Mackiewicz P., Szydło A., Krawczyk B.: Influence of the construction technology on the texture and roughness of concrete pavements. Roads and Bridges - Drogi i Mosty, 17, 2, 2018, 111-126, DOI: 10.7409/rabdim.018.007

Schäfer J., Puchelt H.: Platinum-Group-Metals (PGM) emitted from automobile catalytic converters and their distribution in roadside soils. Journal of Geochemical Exploration, 64, 1-3, 1998, 307-314

Ely J., Neal C., Kulpa Ch., Schneegurt M., Seidler J., Jain J.: Implications of platinum-group element accumulation along US roads from catalytic-converter attrition. Environmental Science and Technology, 35, 19, 2001, 3816-3822

Panek E., Targońska J.: The effect of plant cover and distance from the road on spatial distribution of heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn). Polish Journal of Environmental Studies, 16, 3B, 2007, 376-380

Korzeniowska J., Panek E.: Heavy metal concentrations in the dandelion Taraxacum officinale alongside the roads of various traffic density in the Podhale region. Polish Journal of Environmental Studies, 17, 3A, 2008, 303-306

Grigalaviciene I., Rutkoviene V., Marozas V.: The accumulation of heavy metals Pb, Cu and Cd at roadside forest soil. Polish Journal of Environmental Studies, 14, 1, 2005, 109-115

Hjortenkrans D., Bergbäck B., Häggerud A.: New metal emission patterns in road traffic environments. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 117, 1-3, 2006, 85-98

Czarnowska K., Chlibiuk M., Kozanecka T.: Pierwiastki śladowe w glebach uprawnych przy drogach wokół Warszawy. Roczniki gleboznawcze, 53, 3/4, 2002, 67-74

Nabulo G., Oryem-Origa H., Diamond M.: Assessment of lead, cadmium, and zinc contamination of roadside soils, surface films, and vegetables in Kampala City, Uganda. Environmental Research, 101, 1, 2006, 42-52

Curzydło J.: Wpływ ruchu samochodowego i zanieczyszczeń motoryzacyjnych na zdrowie ludzi oraz skażeń metalami ciężkimi gleby i roślin. Sesja Naukowa „Metodyka oceny oddziaływania autostrady na grunty rolne i leśne”. Zeszyty Naukowe Akademii Rolniczej w Krakowie, 1997, 39-49

Viard B., Pihan F., Promeyrat S., Pihan J.C.: Integrated assessment of heavy metal (Pb, Zn, Cd) highway pollution: bioaccumualtion in soil, Graminaceae and land snails. Chemosphere, 55, 10, 2004, 1349-1359

Bakirdere S., Yaman M.: Determination of lead, cadmium and copper in roadside soil and plants in Elazig, Turkey. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 136, 1-3, 2008, 401-410

Testing the concentration of trace metals in soils near roads with varied traffic intensity

Ćwiąkała, Michał et al. Testing the concentration of trace metals in soils near roads with varied traffic intensity. Roads and Bridges - Drogi i Mosty, [S.l.], v. 18, n. 2, p. 127-134, jun. 2019. ISSN 2449-769X. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 27 Feb. 2024. doi: