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Title: Risk assessment of soil heavy metal contamination at the census tract level in the city of Santa Ana, CA: implications for health and environmental justice.

Authors: Masri, Shahir; LeBrón, Alana M W; Logue, Michael D; Valencia, Enrique; Ruiz, Abel; Reyes, Abigail; Wu, Jun

Published In Environ Sci Process Impacts, (2021 Jun 24)

Abstract: (1) Background: exposure to heavy metals is associated with adverse health effects and disproportionately impacts low-income communities and communities of color. We carried out a community-based participatory research study to examine the distribution of heavy metal concentrations in the soil and social vulnerabilities to soil heavy metal exposures across Census tracts in Santa Ana, CA. (2) Methods: soil samples (n = 1528) of eight heavy metals including lead (Pb), arsenic (As), manganese (Mn), chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni), copper (Cu), cadmium (Cd), and zinc (Zn) were collected in 2018 across Santa Ana, CA, at a high spatial resolution and analyzed using XRF analysis. Metal concentrations were mapped out and American Community Survey data was utilized to assess metals throughout Census tracts in terms of social and economic variables. Risk assessment was conducted to evaluate carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic risk. (3) Results: concentrations of soil metals varied according to landuse type and socioeconomic factors. Census tracts where the median household income was under $50 000 had 390%, 92.9%, 56.6%, and 54.3% higher Pb, Zn, Cd, and As concentrations compared to high-income counterparts. All Census tracts in Santa Ana showed hazard index >1, implying the potential for non-carcinogenic health effects, and nearly all Census tracts showed a cancer risk above 10-4, implying a greater than acceptable risk. Risk was predominantly driven by childhood exposure. (4) Conclusions: findings inform initiatives related to environmental justice and highlight subpopulations at elevated risk of heavy metal exposure, in turn underscoring the need for community-driven recommendations for policies and other actions to remediate soil contamination and protect the health of residents.

PubMed ID: 33954329 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Censuses; China; Cities; Environmental Monitoring; Metals, Heavy*/analysis; Risk Assessment; Soil; Soil Pollutants*/analysis

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