In the era of industrialization, pollution has totally deteriorated the quality and diversity of life. Heavy metal contaminations are the major causes of environment deteriorations. The basic reasons are natural as well as anthropogenic. Chief sources of heavy metal contamination are air pollution, river sediments, sewage sludge, town waste composts, agricultural chemicals like fertilizers and pesticides, and industrial waste like factories releasing chemicals, anthropogenic activities, etc. Agricultural soils in many parts of the world are generally contaminated by heavy metal toxicity such as Cd, Cu, Zn, Ni, Co, Pb, Hg, As, etc. These are due to the long-term use of phosphate fertilizers, sewage sludge, dust from smelters, industrial waste, etc. Heavy metals in soils are detected with some specific instruments like atomic absorption spectroscopy, inductively coupled plasma, inductively coupled plasma-mass spectroscopy, and X-ray fluorescence and spectroscopy. Among all these instruments, atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) is the best because it gives the precise quantitative determination. AAS is a method applied for measuring the quantity of the trace elements present in the soil or any other samples.
Part of the book: Soil Contamination