Speciation, bioaccessibility and health risk assessment of Pb in soils affected by mining activity: a case study of the Irankuh Pb-Zn mine (SW Esfahan)

Authors

Hydrology and Environmental Geology Department, Faculty of Earth Sciences, Shahrood University of Technology, Shahrood, Iran

Abstract

The present study aims to investigate the speciation, bioaccessibility, and health risk of Pb in the soils around the Irankuh mine. For this purpose, 20 soil samples were collected and the physicochemical parameters of the samples were determined. The total and bioaccessible concentrations of Pb were determined using the total digestion and in vitro methods, respectively. The speciation of Pb in selected soil samples was investigated using a sequential extraction approach. The values of pH, organic matter, carbonate and cation exchange capacity of the studied soil samples vary between 6.7 to 8.2, 0.2 to 4.8 %, 6 to 48.5%, and 18 to 11.2 meq/100 g, respectively. The total concentration of Pb changes between 18.4 and 2869 mg/kg (average value of 273.4 mg/kg). Pb is dominantly present in reducible fraction, confirming the anthropogenic source of Pb and its potential mobility. Based on the in vitro test results, the bioaccessibility of Pb is very variable (between 0.2 to 45.4% of the total concentration), which is due to the difference in the physico-chemical characteristics of the samples and the source of the element. The hazard coefficient values for ingestion, dermal contact and inhalation routes are higher for children than adults, and for the ingestion route than other exposure pathways. The carcinogenic risk (CR) values indicate that there is no risk through dermal contact and inhalation routes; however, CR values for the ingestion route using both bioavailable and total concentrations confirm the probability of cancer risks for residents living near the mining site.

Keywords

Main Subjects


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