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Journal of Hazardous Materials
Volume 417, 2021, 126039

Global soil pollution by toxic elements: Current status and future perspectives on the risk assessment and remediation strategies – A review

Shamshad Khana, Mu. Naushadb,c,d, Eder C. Limae, Shengxin Zhanga, Sabry M. Shaheenf,g,h,1, Jörg Rinklebef,1,2

School of Geography and Resources Science, Neijiang Normal University, Neijiang 641100, China.


The aim of this article is to review and present the state of the arte about the status of toxic elements (TEs) in soils and assess the potential risk using single and total complex pollution indices in a global scale. We compiled, integrated, and analyzed soil TE pollution data over almost a decade through key maps, which have not been reviewed up to date. All the in-situ and ex-situ remediation treatments have been also reviewed, illustrated, and compared, for the first time. The future perspectives have been discussed and summarized. This review demonstrates that the cornerstone maps and integrated information provide reliable geographical coordinates and inclusive information on TEs pollution, particularly in China. In-situ treatment approaches for TEs polluted soils are more cost-effective and applicable than ex-situ treatment trials. Selecting a feasible remediation strategy should to take the extent of contamination, treatment objectives, site characteristics, cost-efficiency, and public suitability into account. The summarized findings in this review may help to develop innovative and applicable methods for assessing the global soil pollution by TEs. Also, these findings may help to develop innovative, applicable, and feasibly economic methods for sustainable management of TEs contaminated soils to mitigate the environmental and human health risk.

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