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Citywide distribution of lead and other element in soils and indoor dusts in Syracuse, NY

Applied Geochemistry
DOI: 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2011.07.006
  • Economics


Abstract Associations between Pb, Zn, Fe and Mn in soils and indoor dusts in urban Syracuse, NY have been investigated at different levels of spatial aggregation. The concentrations of these elements of interest (EOI) in 3566 soil samples were mapped across the city to investigate variations in concentration potentially associated with specific city locations. Indoor floor dust loadings for the EOI determined at 433 residences were mapped in a similar fashion. Pearson product correlation coefficients at different levels of soil sample aggregation (individual sampling points, block group averages, and census tract (CT) averages), consistently demonstrated a strong correlation between soil Pb and Zn concentrations. Correlations between Pb and both Fe and Mn soil concentrations were also significant. However, the correlation between the Fe and Mn floor dust loadings was much stronger than that for soil, as were the correlations between the Pb and both the Fe and Mn dust loadings. The correlation between the Fe and Zn floor dust loadings was far less significant. Surprisingly, most of the correlations between the paired EOI in the dusts and soils at the individual homes were mostly not statistically significant. The two correlations of any significance, and these were between the Pb in soil and the Pb in the dust, and between Pb in dust and Zn in soil. The strongest association was between Pb concentration in soil and Pb loading in dust which suggests that Pb in soil is a major source for Pb in indoor dust in urban Syracuse. Differences in the concentrations between the Pb in soil and dust implied the possibility of an indoor source of Pb in a number of the homes. Levels of Pb in dust aggregated at the CT level correlated with a range of socioeconomic variables. Census tracts of lower socioeconomic status also had higher average dust loadings in homes. Not only did soil Pb apparently have a significant influence on indoor dust Pb but socioeconomic status was also a significantly associated.

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