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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4491/eer.2019.099
Effect of cement dust on soil physico-chemical properties around cement plants in Jaintia Hills, Meghalaya
R. Eugene Lamare1,2, and Singh OP1
1Department of Environmental Studies, North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong-793022, Meghalaya, India
2Department of Environment and Traditional Ecosystems, Martin Luther Christian University, Dongktieh-1, Nongrah, Shillong 793006, Meghalaya, India
Corresponding Author: R. Eugene Lamare ,Tel: +91-9863208851, Email: eugenelmr@gmail.com
Received: March 13, 2019;  Accepted: June 5, 2019.
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Investigation was carried out to assess the effect of cement dust deposition on the physico-chemical properties of soil near some cement plants in Jaintia Hills, Meghalaya. Soil samples were collected and analysed and compared with the control site. Comparison of various soil physico-chemical parameters revealed that cement dust emanating from cement plants has changed the soil quality in the surrounding areas of cement plants. The normal soil pH in the area is generally acidic. However, due to the continuous deposition of cement dust soil pH was found slightly alkaline near the cement plants. The higher values of soil parameters such as electrical conductivity and bulk density were also noticed near the cement plants. However, lower values of water holding capacity, soil moisture content, soil organic carbon and total nitrogen content were found compared to the control sites. The effect of cement dust deposition on soil is more in areas nearer to the cement plants. At present the changes may not be so serious but if this trend continues, soil properties of a vast area around the cement plants are likely to change leading to multiple effects on flora, fauna and socio-economy of the area.
Keywords: Cement dust | Change in soil quality | Jaintia hills | Meghalaya
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