Ameliorants to immobilize Cd in rice paddy soils contaminated by abandoned metal mines in Korea

Yong Sik Ok, Sung Chul Kim, Dong Kuk Kim, Jeffrey G. Skousen, Jin Soo Lee, Young Wook Cheong, Su Jung Kim, Jae E. Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

137 Citations (Scopus)


The cadmium (Cd) content of rice grain grown in metal-contaminated paddy soils near abandoned metal mines in South Korea was found to exceed safety guidelines (0.2 mg Cd kg-1) set by the Korea Food and Drug Administration (KFDA). However, current remediation technologies for heavy metal-contaminated soils have limited application with respect to rice paddy soils. Laboratory and greenhouse experiments were conducted to assess the effects of amending contaminated rice paddy soils with zerovalent iron (ZVI), lime, humus, compost, and combinations of these compounds to immobilize Cd and inhibit Cd translocation to rice grain. Sequential extraction analysis revealed that treatment with the ameliorants induced a 50-90% decrease in the bioavailable Cd fractions when compared to the untreated control soil. When compared to the control, Cd uptake by rice was decreased in response to treatment with ZVI + humus (69%), lime (65%), ZVI + compost (61%), compost (46%), ZVI (42%), and humus (14%). In addition, ameliorants did not influence rice yield when compared to that of the control. Overall, the results of this study indicated that remediation technologies using ameliorants effectively reduce Cd bioavailability and uptake in contaminated rice paddy soils.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-30
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental geochemistry and health
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Amendments
  • Cadmium
  • Crop yield
  • Immobilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • General Environmental Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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