Exposure assessment of naturally metal enriched topsoils, Port Macquarie, Australia

Lottermoser, Bernd (2002) Exposure assessment of naturally metal enriched topsoils, Port Macquarie, Australia. Environmental Geochemistry and Health, 24 (3). pp. 183-190.

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An exposure assessment was conducted on naturally metal enriched topsoils of the city of Port Macquarie in order to establish whether the soils pose any threat to human health. Surface soils (0–10 cm depth, <2 mm) were investigated for their total, bioavailable and leachable Cr and Ni concentrations. Total metal concentrations ranged from 145 to 4540 mg Cr kg−1 and 20 to 2030 mg Ni kg−1, whereas soil extractions revealed low leachable contaminant concentrations (EDTA extraction: <0.1–0.2mg Cr L−1 and <0.1–4.7mg Ni L−1; acetic acid extraction: <0.1mg L−1 Cr and Ni). Thus the bioavailability of Cr and Ni to plants is low, the leaching of metals into ground and surface waters is insignificant and the pathways of these metal pollutants from topsoils into residents are limited to the inadvertent ingestion, inhalation and skin adsorption of soil metals. Simulated gastric experiments, using hydrochloric acid, indicated that less than 0.01% of the total Cr and 0.1– 2.4% of the total Ni ingested are soluble and available, for uptake into the human body. Critical receptors, such as small children would have to ingest considerable soil quantities (>11.8 g per day)over long periods of time to experience an appreciable risk of deleterious effects. Thus, although Cr and Ni are present in high concentrations, the effective uptake of Cr and Ni from soil by the majority of residents is insignificant. The possibility that the Ni enriched topsoil induces allergic contact dermatitis in sensitised individuals remains to be evaluated.

Item ID: 13515
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1573-2983
Keywords: chromium, exposure assessment, nickel, topsoil
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2010 04:05
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0402 Geochemistry > 040202 Inorganic Geochemistry @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9612 Rehabilitation of Degraded Environments > 961208 Rehabilitation of Degraded Urban and Industrial Environments @ 100%
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