Speciation of heavy metals in geological matter of the Serbian national parks, protected areas and cities within the Danube river basin after the war conflict in 1999
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In order to assess the effects of the 1999 NATO bombing of Serbia on the environment, some of the most widespread and feared pollutants, including heavy metals were determined in various sediment samples that were taken from three areas hit by bombing and were previously well-known for its unpolluted environment. Samples of soil and sediments from Fruska Gora National Park as well as Deliblatska Pescara and Zasavica Protected Areas which all lie in the immediate vicinity of the Danube, were investigated by sequential extraction, in order to determine potential substrates of heavy metals and to predict their potential mobilization mechanisms into the environment, especially into surface and ground water flows. This was important because the Danube, one of Europe's most important rivers, flows in the immediate vicinity of the National Park and Protected Areas and any contamination could cause severe effects on the river's ecological status and unpredictable consequences on the countries ...downstream, including the ecology of the Black Sea. Results show that all three examined areas are polluted with cadmium, the main source of which is projectiles (i.e. their explosions which could contaminate the examined sediments). In Deliblatska Pescara Protected Area there is an increase of highly mobile lead, most probably originating from the bombing of Pancevo oil industry facilities. Radioactivity in examined sediment samples is in the range of values commonly reported from neighbouring countries, suggesting that the contribution of the Chernobyl accident and NATO bombing in 1999 to the total radioactivity in the examined areas is negligible from the health point of view (i.e. that DU ammunition was not used in these areas). © 2009 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.