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Analysis of Pollution Hazard Intensity: A Spatial Epidemiology Case Study of Soil Pb Contamination

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ABSTRACT

Heavy industrialization has resulted in the contamination of soil by metals from anthropogenic sources in Anniston, Alabama. This situation calls for increased public awareness of the soil contamination issue and better knowledge of the main factors contributing to the potential sources contaminating residential soil. The purpose of this spatial epidemiology research is to describe the effects of physical factors on the concentration of lead (Pb) in soil in Anniston AL, and to determine the socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of those residing in areas with higher soil contamination. Spatial regression models are used to account for spatial dependencies using these explanatory variables. After accounting for covariates and multicollinearity, results of the analysis indicate that lead concentration in soils varies markedly in the vicinity of a specific foundry (Foundry A), and that proximity to railroads explained a significant amount of spatial variation in soil lead concentration. Moreover, elevated soil lead levels were identified as a concern in industrial sites, neighborhoods with a high density of old housing, a high percentage of African American population, and a low percent of occupied housing units. The use of spatial modelling allows for better identification of significant factors that are correlated with soil lead concentrations.

No MeSH data available.


Soil lead levels at sampling locations in Anniston, AL. ppm: part per million.
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ijerph-13-00915-f001: Soil lead levels at sampling locations in Anniston, AL. ppm: part per million.

Mentions: Anniston, Alabama, is located approximately 60 miles east of Birmingham and 90 miles west of Atlanta. It is a community of about 23,000 people and is situated in Calhoun County. The specific areas of interest are residential neighborhoods near 23 former and currently operating foundries, highways, and major railroads in the study area, as shown in Figure 1. Information on physical variables and soil Pb levels is collected from several data sources. A database of soil samples collected from 2000 to 2008 in Anniston was obtained from the US EPA that includes measurement of Pb levels at 9365 sample locations from residential properties. Multiple lead measurements were taken from the upper 3 inches of soil in each location and reported in parts per million (ppm or mg/kg). Pb levels were measured by US EPA method 3050/6010/6020 (ICP-MS: Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry) [31]. All soil samples had Pb levels above the matrix specific level of quantification, which ranged from 0.5 to 7 ppm.


Analysis of Pollution Hazard Intensity: A Spatial Epidemiology Case Study of Soil Pb Contamination
Soil lead levels at sampling locations in Anniston, AL. ppm: part per million.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5036748&req=5

ijerph-13-00915-f001: Soil lead levels at sampling locations in Anniston, AL. ppm: part per million.
Mentions: Anniston, Alabama, is located approximately 60 miles east of Birmingham and 90 miles west of Atlanta. It is a community of about 23,000 people and is situated in Calhoun County. The specific areas of interest are residential neighborhoods near 23 former and currently operating foundries, highways, and major railroads in the study area, as shown in Figure 1. Information on physical variables and soil Pb levels is collected from several data sources. A database of soil samples collected from 2000 to 2008 in Anniston was obtained from the US EPA that includes measurement of Pb levels at 9365 sample locations from residential properties. Multiple lead measurements were taken from the upper 3 inches of soil in each location and reported in parts per million (ppm or mg/kg). Pb levels were measured by US EPA method 3050/6010/6020 (ICP-MS: Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry) [31]. All soil samples had Pb levels above the matrix specific level of quantification, which ranged from 0.5 to 7 ppm.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Heavy industrialization has resulted in the contamination of soil by metals from anthropogenic sources in Anniston, Alabama. This situation calls for increased public awareness of the soil contamination issue and better knowledge of the main factors contributing to the potential sources contaminating residential soil. The purpose of this spatial epidemiology research is to describe the effects of physical factors on the concentration of lead (Pb) in soil in Anniston AL, and to determine the socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of those residing in areas with higher soil contamination. Spatial regression models are used to account for spatial dependencies using these explanatory variables. After accounting for covariates and multicollinearity, results of the analysis indicate that lead concentration in soils varies markedly in the vicinity of a specific foundry (Foundry A), and that proximity to railroads explained a significant amount of spatial variation in soil lead concentration. Moreover, elevated soil lead levels were identified as a concern in industrial sites, neighborhoods with a high density of old housing, a high percentage of African American population, and a low percent of occupied housing units. The use of spatial modelling allows for better identification of significant factors that are correlated with soil lead concentrations.

No MeSH data available.