Identification of environmental lead sources and pathways in a mining and smelting town: Mount Isa, Australia

Mackay, A.K., Taylor, M.P., Munksgaard, N.C., Hudson-Edwards, K.A., and Burn-Nunes, L. (2013) Identification of environmental lead sources and pathways in a mining and smelting town: Mount Isa, Australia. Environmental Pollution, 180. pp. 304-311.

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Abstract

Lead (Pb) concentrations and isotopic compositions from soils, dusts and aerosols from public land and residential lots adjacent to the copper and Pb mine and smelter at Mount Isa, Australia, were examined to understand the sources and risks of environmental Pb exposure. Urban soil samples contain elevated Pb concentrations (mean 1560 mg/kg), of which 45–85% of the Pb is bioaccessible. The Pb isotopic composition of surface soils (0–2 cm), aerosols and dusts (206Pb/207Pb, 208Pb/207Pb range: 1.049, 2.322–1.069, 2.345) are dominated by Pb derived from the Mount Isa Pb–zinc ore bodies. Underlying soil horizons (10–20 cm) have distinctly different Pb isotopic compositions (206Pb/207Pb, 208Pb/207Pb range: 1.093, 2.354–1.212, 2.495). Surface soil-, dust- and aerosol-Pb are derived predominantly from smelter emissions and fugitive mining sources and not from in situ weathered bedrock. Remediation strategies should target legacy and ongoing sources of environmental Pb to mitigate the problem of Pb exposure at Mount Isa.

Item ID: 31541
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: lead (Pb), blood lead (PbB), contamination, lead isotope, mining and smelting, Mount Isa
ISSN: 1873-6424
Funders: Slater and Gordon, QLD
Date Deposited: 24 May 2014 05:00
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050204 Environmental Impact Assessment @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050304 Soil Chemistry (excl Carbon Sequestration Science) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9612 Rehabilitation of Degraded Environments > 961205 Rehabilitation of Degraded Mining Environments @ 100%
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