The application of organic wastes to soils, such as municipal solid waste compost (MSWC) or treated urban sewage sludge (USS) is a current practice for maintaining soil organic matter, reclaiming degraded soils and supplying plant nutrients. Since USS and MSWC may contain organic contaminants, heavy metals or pathogens, this practice represents a potential problem to the environment. In the case of heavy metals both bioavailability and toxicity seems to be critically dependent on the chemical form of the element. In this work, a pot experiment was carried out with different levels of MSWC and USS, as well as an inorganic solution of Cu and Zn. The aim was to obtain information about their bioavailability, mobility and toxicity and correlation among the different soil extracted fractions (F1 - Exchangeable metal associated with carbonated phases, F2 - Reducible metal or associated with Fe and Mn oxides, F3 - Oxidizable metal bound to organic matter) with the Cu and Zn foliar (CuF and ZnF) and pseudo totals contents (CuPtotal and ZnPtotal), using the BCR sequential and aqua regia extraction procedure. Both of these methods were adequate to predict the Cu and Zn available to the plant, as high values on the CuF-Cu∑123, CuF-CuPtotal, ZnF-Zn∑123 and ZnF-ZnPtotal correlations were verified. Copper bounded mainly to F3, while Zn bounded to F1, F2 and F3 fractions and the regression analysis revelled that Cu and Zn ryegrass absorption were made mainly on F1 and F3 for Cu and F1 for Zn.
- Heavy metal bioavailability
- Municipal solid waste compost
- Urban sewage sludge