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A Field Procedure To Screen Soil for Hazardous Lead

Landes, Franziska C., Paltseva, Anna, Sobolewski, Jennifer M., Cheng, Zhongqi, Ellis, Tyler K., Mailloux, Brian J., van Geen, Alexander
Analytical chemistry 2019 v.91 no.13 pp. 8192-8198
batteries, color, gasoline, lead, mining, pH, recycling, sodium, soil, soil sampling, toxicity, waste incineration
Soils retain lead contamination from possible sources such as mining, smelting, battery recycling, waste incineration, leaded gasoline, and crumbling paint. Such contamination is often concentrated in toxic hot spots that need to be identified locally. To address this need, a simple field procedure was designed to screen soil for hazardous Pb for use by the general public. The procedure is a modification of the in vitro soil Pb extraction described by Drexler and Brattin (Hum. Ecol. Risk Assess.2007, 13, 383) and EPA Method 1340, and uses a 0.4 M glycine solution at pH 1.5. A higher soil-to-solution ratio of 1:10 allows for classifying soil samples based on extractable Pb concentrations of <200 mg/kg (low), 200–400 mg/kg (medium), and >400 mg/kg (high) using sodium rhodizonate as a color indicator. The 1:10 soil-to-solution ratio also makes it possible to measure Pb concentrations in the glycine extract solutions on a continuous scale using a portable X-ray fluorescence analyzer. The procedure rather consistently extracts about one-third of the Pb extracted by the standard method across a wide range of Pb concentrations. Manufacturing the kit in larger quantities could reduce the cost of the materials well below the current $5/test.