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Am Ind Hyg Assoc J. 1993 Sep;54(9):557-9.

A survey of lead contamination in soil along Interstate 880, Alameda County, California.

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Forensic Analytical Specialties, Inc., Hayward, CA 94545.


This study was undertaken to determine the levels of lead in soils taken from yards of homes in close proximity to a major freeway. Soils were collected from the yards of homes in communities adjacent to the freeway and within a 1-mile radius. Samples were analyzed using U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) methods and atomic absorption instrumentation. Ten percent of the samples were split and sent to a second laboratory for quality control. The possibility of lead-based paint contributing to the contamination was eliminated by sampling more than 20 feet from the homes. The soils closest to the highway showed lead levels exceeding California's and EPA's criteria for hazardous waste. A stratified sample of the depth of contamination in soils was also undertaken. Previously identified "hot spots" (soils with lead levels exceeding 500 ppm in the top 0.75 inch) were core sampled. Results indicated 90% of the subsurface samples contained lead exceeding the surface contaminations. This may be attributed to decades of urban lead-laden dust deposition. As the use of leaded gasolines have diminished in the past decade, the uppermost layers of soil/dust contained lower amounts of lead.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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