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The source of lead determines the relationship between soil properties and lead bioaccessibility

Yan, Kaihong, Dong, Zhaomin, Wijayawardena, M.A Ayanka, Liu, Yanju, Li, Yubiao, Naidu, Ravi
Environmental pollution 2019 v.246 pp. 53-59
batteries, bioavailability, children, clay fraction, health effects assessments, human health, infants, leaching, lead, metabolism, mining, neurons, particle size, polluted soils, pollution, prediction, remediation, sand, silt fraction, soil analysis
Lead (Pb) contaminated soil is of particular concern for infants and children due to their susceptibility to exposure, fast metabolic rates and rapidly developing neuronal systems. Determining the bioaccessibility of Pb in soils is critical in human health risk assessments, which can vary due to different soil properties and sources of Pb contamination. In this study, the potential relationships between soil properties and Pb bioaccessibility from various Pb sources including Pb contamination from mining (specifically, Broken Hill), three shooting ranges, a smelter and two industry sites (pottery and battery), were investigated using the Relative Bioavailability Leaching Procedure (RBALP). We found the following: (1) CEC, TOC, sand and silt content, and total Pb were significantly different (p < 0.05) between the two particle size fractions of < 2 mm and < 250 μm; (2) EC, CEC and total Pb were significantly correlated to Pb bioaccessibility (p < 0.05); and (3) soil analyses based on source of Pb demonstrated a strongly significant relationship between Pb bioaccessibility and soil properties (CEC, EC, clay content and total Pb) for mining soils from Broken Hill (r2 = 0.86, p < 0.05, n = 18). These results demonstrated the influences of Pb contamination sources, soil properties and particle size fractions on Pb bioaccessibility as well as the prediction of Pb bioaccessibility using soil properties. The findings documented here will help in developing a predictive tool for human health risk assessment and the remediation of Pb contaminated soils.