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Pb pollution from leaded gasoline in South America in the context of a 2000-year metallurgical history.

Eichler A, Gramlich G, Kellerhals T, Tobler L, Schwikowski M - Sci Adv (2015)

Bottom Line: The ice core Pb deposition history revealed enhanced Pb enrichment factors (EFs) due to metallurgical processing for silver production during periods of the Tiwanaku/Wari culture (AD 450-950), the Inca empires (AD 1450-1532), colonial times (AD 1532-1900), and tin production at the beginning of the 20th century.After the 1960s, Pb EFs increased by a factor of 3 compared to the emission level from metal production, which we attribute to gasoline-related Pb emissions.Our results show that anthropogenic Pb pollution levels from road traffic in South America exceed those of any historical metallurgy in the last two millennia, even in regions with exceptional high local metallurgical activity.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Paul Scherrer Institut, CH-5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland. ; Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland.

ABSTRACT
Exploitation of the extensive polymetallic deposits of the Andean Altiplano in South America since precolonial times has caused substantial emissions of neurotoxic lead (Pb) into the atmosphere; however, its historical significance compared to recent Pb pollution from leaded gasoline is not yet resolved. We present a comprehensive Pb emission history for the last two millennia for South America, based on a continuous, high-resolution, ice core record from Illimani glacier. Illimani is the highest mountain of the eastern Bolivian Andes and is located at the northeastern margin of the Andean Altiplano. The ice core Pb deposition history revealed enhanced Pb enrichment factors (EFs) due to metallurgical processing for silver production during periods of the Tiwanaku/Wari culture (AD 450-950), the Inca empires (AD 1450-1532), colonial times (AD 1532-1900), and tin production at the beginning of the 20th century. After the 1960s, Pb EFs increased by a factor of 3 compared to the emission level from metal production, which we attribute to gasoline-related Pb emissions. Our results show that anthropogenic Pb pollution levels from road traffic in South America exceed those of any historical metallurgy in the last two millennia, even in regions with exceptional high local metallurgical activity.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Ice core records of Pb and Ce concentrations, Pb isotope ratios, and lake levels of the Lake Titicaca for the period AD 0–2000.Concentrations are shown as 10-year medians (gray lines) and 100-year lowpass-filtered data (Pb, green bold line; Ce, brown bold line), whereas isotope ratios 208Pb/207Pb and 206Pb/207Pb are presented as 50-year means (±SE) together with the background range for Bolivia (local dust and soils + Porco and Cerro de Potosí mine tailings) (42) (hatched areas). Reconstructed lake levels of Lake Titicaca [meters below overflow level (BOL)] are from (31). The prolonged dusty/dry period during the Medieval Climate Optimum and the Industrial period (Ind.) are marked in orange and red, respectively.
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Figure 2: Ice core records of Pb and Ce concentrations, Pb isotope ratios, and lake levels of the Lake Titicaca for the period AD 0–2000.Concentrations are shown as 10-year medians (gray lines) and 100-year lowpass-filtered data (Pb, green bold line; Ce, brown bold line), whereas isotope ratios 208Pb/207Pb and 206Pb/207Pb are presented as 50-year means (±SE) together with the background range for Bolivia (local dust and soils + Porco and Cerro de Potosí mine tailings) (42) (hatched areas). Reconstructed lake levels of Lake Titicaca [meters below overflow level (BOL)] are from (31). The prolonged dusty/dry period during the Medieval Climate Optimum and the Industrial period (Ind.) are marked in orange and red, respectively.

Mentions: The 2000-year Pb concentration record from Illimani documents the history of South American Pb pollution from pre- and postcolonial metallurgical activities at the Altiplano, leaded gasoline, and local dust emissions (Fig. 2). The most prolonged Pb concentration maxima occurred during the periods AD 500–600, 1050–1350, and 1880–2000. The steepest rise of the Pb concentrations was observed at the end of the 19th century, parallel with industrialization in the Andes. The first two maxima were caused by deposition of soil dust as indicated by a strong enhancement of dust-related elements, such as Ce (Fig. 2). The period around AD 1050–1350 with increased dust deposition at the Illimani coincides with an exceptionally long period of low water levels in nearby Lake Titicaca (31) (Fig. 2). Additional evidence for reduced precipitation and warmer conditions during the Medieval Climate Optimum is provided by the Quelccaya ice core accumulation record (32), the Illimani temperature reconstruction (33), and different proxies from peat bogs (34) and lake sediment cores (31, 35–40).


Pb pollution from leaded gasoline in South America in the context of a 2000-year metallurgical history.

Eichler A, Gramlich G, Kellerhals T, Tobler L, Schwikowski M - Sci Adv (2015)

Ice core records of Pb and Ce concentrations, Pb isotope ratios, and lake levels of the Lake Titicaca for the period AD 0–2000.Concentrations are shown as 10-year medians (gray lines) and 100-year lowpass-filtered data (Pb, green bold line; Ce, brown bold line), whereas isotope ratios 208Pb/207Pb and 206Pb/207Pb are presented as 50-year means (±SE) together with the background range for Bolivia (local dust and soils + Porco and Cerro de Potosí mine tailings) (42) (hatched areas). Reconstructed lake levels of Lake Titicaca [meters below overflow level (BOL)] are from (31). The prolonged dusty/dry period during the Medieval Climate Optimum and the Industrial period (Ind.) are marked in orange and red, respectively.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4643815&req=5

Figure 2: Ice core records of Pb and Ce concentrations, Pb isotope ratios, and lake levels of the Lake Titicaca for the period AD 0–2000.Concentrations are shown as 10-year medians (gray lines) and 100-year lowpass-filtered data (Pb, green bold line; Ce, brown bold line), whereas isotope ratios 208Pb/207Pb and 206Pb/207Pb are presented as 50-year means (±SE) together with the background range for Bolivia (local dust and soils + Porco and Cerro de Potosí mine tailings) (42) (hatched areas). Reconstructed lake levels of Lake Titicaca [meters below overflow level (BOL)] are from (31). The prolonged dusty/dry period during the Medieval Climate Optimum and the Industrial period (Ind.) are marked in orange and red, respectively.
Mentions: The 2000-year Pb concentration record from Illimani documents the history of South American Pb pollution from pre- and postcolonial metallurgical activities at the Altiplano, leaded gasoline, and local dust emissions (Fig. 2). The most prolonged Pb concentration maxima occurred during the periods AD 500–600, 1050–1350, and 1880–2000. The steepest rise of the Pb concentrations was observed at the end of the 19th century, parallel with industrialization in the Andes. The first two maxima were caused by deposition of soil dust as indicated by a strong enhancement of dust-related elements, such as Ce (Fig. 2). The period around AD 1050–1350 with increased dust deposition at the Illimani coincides with an exceptionally long period of low water levels in nearby Lake Titicaca (31) (Fig. 2). Additional evidence for reduced precipitation and warmer conditions during the Medieval Climate Optimum is provided by the Quelccaya ice core accumulation record (32), the Illimani temperature reconstruction (33), and different proxies from peat bogs (34) and lake sediment cores (31, 35–40).

Bottom Line: The ice core Pb deposition history revealed enhanced Pb enrichment factors (EFs) due to metallurgical processing for silver production during periods of the Tiwanaku/Wari culture (AD 450-950), the Inca empires (AD 1450-1532), colonial times (AD 1532-1900), and tin production at the beginning of the 20th century.After the 1960s, Pb EFs increased by a factor of 3 compared to the emission level from metal production, which we attribute to gasoline-related Pb emissions.Our results show that anthropogenic Pb pollution levels from road traffic in South America exceed those of any historical metallurgy in the last two millennia, even in regions with exceptional high local metallurgical activity.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Paul Scherrer Institut, CH-5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland. ; Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland.

ABSTRACT
Exploitation of the extensive polymetallic deposits of the Andean Altiplano in South America since precolonial times has caused substantial emissions of neurotoxic lead (Pb) into the atmosphere; however, its historical significance compared to recent Pb pollution from leaded gasoline is not yet resolved. We present a comprehensive Pb emission history for the last two millennia for South America, based on a continuous, high-resolution, ice core record from Illimani glacier. Illimani is the highest mountain of the eastern Bolivian Andes and is located at the northeastern margin of the Andean Altiplano. The ice core Pb deposition history revealed enhanced Pb enrichment factors (EFs) due to metallurgical processing for silver production during periods of the Tiwanaku/Wari culture (AD 450-950), the Inca empires (AD 1450-1532), colonial times (AD 1532-1900), and tin production at the beginning of the 20th century. After the 1960s, Pb EFs increased by a factor of 3 compared to the emission level from metal production, which we attribute to gasoline-related Pb emissions. Our results show that anthropogenic Pb pollution levels from road traffic in South America exceed those of any historical metallurgy in the last two millennia, even in regions with exceptional high local metallurgical activity.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus