Urban soil contamination is a growing concern for the potential health impact on the increasing number of people living in these areas. In this study, the concentration, the distribution, the contamination levels, and the role of land use were investigated in Erbil metropolis, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. A total of 74 soil samples were collected, treated, and analyzed for their physicochemical properties, and for 7 heavy metals (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Pb, and Zn) and 16 PAH contents. High concentrations, especially of Cd, Cu Pb, and Zn, were found. The Geoaccumulation index (Igeo), along with correlation coefficients and principal component analysis (PCA) showed that Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn have similar behaviors and spatial distribution patterns. Heavy traffic density mainly contributed to the high concentrations of these metals. The total concentration of ΣPAHs ranged from 24.26 to 6129.14 ng/g with a mean of 2296.1 ng/g. The PAH pattern was dominated by 4- and 5-ring PAHs, while diagnostic ratios and PCA indicated that the main sources of PAHs were pyrogenic. The toxic equivalent (TEQ) values ranged from 3.26 to 362.84 ng/g, with higher values in central parts of the city. A statistically significant difference in As, Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn, and ΣPAH concentrations between different land uses was observed. The highest As concentrations were found in agricultural areas while roadside, commercial, and industrial areas had the highest Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn, and ΣPAH contents.
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