Main content area

Geospatial evaluation of lead bioaccessibility and distribution for site specific prediction of threshold limits

Bower, Jennifer A., Lister, Sydney, Hazebrouck, Garrett, Perdrial, Nicolas
Environmental pollution 2017 v.229 pp. 290-299
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bioavailability, blood, kriging, lead, lead poisoning, models, prediction, soil sampling, soil types, summer, Vermont
Recent work identified the need for site-specific Pb bioaccessibility evaluation and scaled contaminant modeling. Pb heterogeneity has made bioaccessibility characterization difficult, and complicated distribution models. Using field testing, bioaccessibility measurement, Integrated Exposure Uptake and Biokinetic (IEUBK) modeling, and geospatial techniques, we propose a framework for conducting applied risk-based, multiscale assessment. This framework was tested and implemented in Burlington, VT, an area of old housing stock and high Pb burden (up to 15 000 mg kg−1) derived primarily from paint. After analyzing local soil samples for total and bioaccessible Pb, it was determined that bioaccessible and total Pb were well correlated in this area, through which an average bioaccessibility parameter was derived approximating Pb bioaccessibility for this soil type and Pb impact. This parameter was used with the IEUBK to recommend the local limit for residential soil Pb be reduced from 400 to 360 mg kg−1, taking into consideration the lowering of the blood lead level threshold for Pb poisoning from 10 to 5 μg dL−1 by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Geospatial investigation incorporated samples collected during this investigation and samples from a high school summer science academy, and relied on three techniques, used at different scales: kriging of total and background Pb alone, kriging of total and background Pb with housing age as a well-sampled, well-correlated secondary variable (cokriging), and inverse distance weighting of total and bioaccessible Pb. Modeling at different scales allowed for characterization of Pb impact at single sites as well as citywide. Model maps show positive correlation between areas of older housing and areas of high Pb burden, as well as potential at different scales for reducing the effects of Pb heterogeneity.