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Distribution and integrated assessment of lead in an abandoned lead-acid battery site in Southwest China before redevelopment

Wang, Mei, Zhang, Chao, Zhang, Zhuo, Li, Fasheng, Guo, Guanlin
Ecotoxicology and environmental safety 2016 v.128 pp. 126-132
Artemisia annua, Broussonetia papyrifera, acetic acid, batteries, bioavailability, blood, environmental quality, human health, leachates, lead, models, probability distribution, remediation, rhizosphere, risk, soil, soil sampling, wastes, China
Lead-acid battery sites have contributed enormous amounts of lead to the environment, significantly affecting its global biogeochemical cycle and leaving the potential risks to human health. An abandoned lead-acid battery site prepared for redevelopment was selected in order to study the distribution of lead in soils, plants, rhizosphere soils and soil solutions. In total, 197 samples from 77 boreholes were collected and analyzed. Single extractions by acetic acid (HOAc) were conducted to assess the bioavailability and speciation of lead in soils for comparison with the parts of the plants that are aboveground. Health risks for future residential development were evaluated by the integrated exposure uptake biokinetic (IEUBK) model. The results indicated that lead concentrations in 83% of the soil samples exceeded the Chinese Environmental Quality Standard for soil (350mg/kg for Pb) and mainly occurred at depths between 0 and 1.5m while accumulating at the surface of demolished construction waste and miscellaneous fill. Lead concentrations in soil solutions and HOAc extraction leachates were linked closely to the contents of aboveground Broussonetia papyrifera and Artemisia annua, two main types of local plants that were found at the site. The probability density of lead in blood (PbB) in excess of 10µg/dL could overtake the 99% mark in the residential scenario. The findings provided a relatively integrated method to illustrate the onsite investigations and assessment for similar sites before remediation and future development from more comprehensive aspects.