Environmental Geochemistry and Health
An urban survey of Lisbon, the largest city in Portugal, was carried out to investigate its environmental burden, emphasizing metallic elements and their public health impacts. This paper examines the geochemistry of lead (Pb) and its influence on human health data. A total of 51 soil samples were collected from urban recreational areas used by children to play outdoors. The semi-quantitative analysis of Pb was carried out by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry after an acid digestion. X-ray diffraction was used to characterize the soil mineralogy. The solid-phase distribution of Pb in the urban soils was investigated on a subset of 7 soils, out of a total of 51 samples, using a non-specific sequential extraction method coupled with chemometric analysis. Oral bioaccessibility measurements were obtained using the Unified BARGE Method developed by the Bioaccessibility Research Group of Europe. The objectives of the study are as follows: (1) investigation of Pb solid-phase distribution; (2) interpretation of Pb oral bioaccessibility measurements; (3) integration of metal geochemistry with human health data; and (4) understanding the influence of geochemistry and mineralogy on oral bioaccessibility. The results show that the bioaccessible fraction of Pb is lower when major metal fractions are associated with less soluble soil phases such as Fe oxyhydroxides, and more increased when the metal is in the highly soluble carbonate phase. However, there is some evidence that the proportion of carbonates in the soil environment is also a key control over the oral bioaccessibility of Pb, irrespective of its solid-phase fractionation. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.
Year of publication: 2014