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Variations of Soil Lead in Different Land Uses Along the Urbanization Gradient in the Beijing Metropolitan Area

1,†, 1,†, 2,* and 1
Center for Human-Environment System Sustainability (CHESS), State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology (ESPRE), Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
State Key Laboratory of Systems Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 3199-3214;
Received: 4 January 2014 / Revised: 17 February 2014 / Accepted: 17 February 2014 / Published: 18 March 2014
PDF [3553 KB, uploaded 19 June 2014]


Understanding the spatial pattern of soil lead (Pb) levels is essential to protecting human health. Most previous studies have examined soil Pb distributions by either urbanization gradient or land-use type. Few studies, however, have examined both factors together. It remains unclear whether the impacts of land use on soil Pb levels are consistent along the urbanization gradient. To fill this gap, we investigated variations in soil Pb level under different land-use types along the urbanization gradient in Beijing, China. We classified the degree of urbanization as the urban core, transitional zone, or suburban area and the land-use type as industrial area, roadside, residential area, institutional area, road greenbelt, park, or forest. Our results showed that the range of soil Pb levels in Beijing is <1 mg/kg–292 mg/kg, with a mean of 22 mg/kg. Along the urbanization gradient, the mean soil Pb level increased from the suburban area to the urban core. Land-use types have an impact on soil Pb levels, however, when the degree of urbanization is considered, the impact from land use on soil Pb level was only significant in the transitional zone. Parks and road greenbelts were found to have lower soil Pb, primarily due to soil restoration. Roadside and residential areas were found to have higher soil Pb because of traffic emissions, leaded paint, and previous industrial contamination. In the urban core and suburban area, the soil Pb level showed no significant differences among various land-use types. Given the results of soil Pb in various land-use types, we suggest that future studies consider the urbanization gradient in which different land-use samples are located. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil Pb; urbanization gradient; land use; Beijing soil Pb; urbanization gradient; land use; Beijing

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Mao, Q.; Huang, G.; Ma, K.; Sun, Z. Variations of Soil Lead in Different Land Uses Along the Urbanization Gradient in the Beijing Metropolitan Area. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 3199-3214.

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