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Publication Detail

Title: Investigation of Pb-contaminated soil and road dust in a polluted area of Philadelphia.

Authors: O'Shea, Michael J; Krekeler, Mark P S; Vann, David R; Gieré, Reto

Published In Environ Monit Assess, (2021 Jun 24)

Abstract: A multi-analytical geochemical investigation of Pb-contaminated collocated road dust and soils, at two size fractions, was performed in Fishtown, Philadelphia, PA, USA. The combinations of methods employed in this case study were chosen to better characterize the contamination, enhance identification of pollution sources, improve understanding of the impact of former Pb smelters, and to study the relationships between two media and between two size fractions. High concentrations of Cu and Sn were observed in both bulk and finer road dust, whereas large concentrations of Zn and Pb were found in both bulk and finer soil samples, implying pollution. There were no obvious associations between Pb soil concentrations and former smelter locations. Therefore, the primary source of the high mean Pb content in bulk (595 ppm) and fine soils (687 ppm) was likely legacy lead paint and/or leaded-gasoline products. Using electron microscopy, we found that Pb particles were mainly 0.1-10 µm in diameter and were ubiquitous in both soil and dust samples. Two-way analysis of variance tests revealed that, for most chemical elements explored here, there were statistically significant differences in concentrations based on media and size fractions, with finer sizes being more polluted than the bulk. The mineralogical composition and the sources of several pollutant elements (Cr, Cu, Zn, Pb), however, were similar for both soil and dust, pointing to material exchange between the two media. We suggest that future investigations of collocated road dust and soils in urban environments use the methodologies applied in this study to obtain detailed insights into sources of roadside pollution and the relationships between neighboring media.

PubMed ID: 34164717 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Dust/analysis; Environmental Monitoring; Lead; Metals, Heavy*/analysis; Philadelphia; Soil; Soil Pollutants*/analysis

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