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Natural Background and Anthropogenic Arsenic Enrichment in Florida Soils, Surface Water, and Groundwater: A Review with a Discussion on Public Health Risk

1
Emergent Technologies Institute, U. A. Whitaker College of Engineering, Florida Gulf Coast University, 16301 Innovation Lane, Fort Myers, FL 33913, USA
2
Center for Biomedical & Toxicological Research, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32310, USA
3
Beeson Consulting, Inc., 12836 Kedleston Circle, Fort Myers, FL 33912, USA
4
WSP USA Inc., 1567 Hayley Lane, Suite 202, Fort Myers, FL 33907, USA
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Hazardous Substance & Waste Management Research, 2976 Wellington Circle West, Tallahassee, FL 32309, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2278; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102278
Received: 29 August 2018 / Revised: 19 September 2018 / Accepted: 14 October 2018 / Published: 17 October 2018
Florida geologic units and soils contain a wide range in concentrations of naturally-occurring arsenic. The average range of bulk rock concentrations is 1 to 13.1 mg/kg with concentrations in accessary minerals being over 1000 mg/kg. Florida soils contain natural arsenic concentrations which can exceed 10 mg/kg in some circumstances, with organic-rich soils often having the highest concentrations. Anthropogenic sources of arsenic have added about 610,000 metric tons of arsenic into the Florida environment since 1970, thereby increasing background concentrations in soils. The anthropogenic sources of arsenic in soils include: pesticides (used in Florida beginning in the 1890’s), fertilizers, chromated copper arsenate (CCA)-treated wood, soil amendments, cattle-dipping vats, chicken litter, sludges from water treatment plants, and others. The default Soil Cleanup Target Level (SCTL) in Florida for arsenic in residential soils is 2.1 mg/kg which is below some naturally-occurring background concentrations in soils and anthropogenic concentrations in agricultural soils. A review of risk considerations shows that adverse health impacts associated with exposure to arsenic is dependent on many factors and that the Florida cleanup levels are very conservative. Exposure to arsenic in soils at concentrations that exceed the Florida default cleanup level set specifically for residential environments does not necessarily pose a meaningful a priori public health risk, given important considerations such as the form of arsenic present, the route(s) of exposure, and the actual circumstances of exposure (e.g., frequency, duration, and magnitude). View Full-Text
Keywords: arsenic; Florida; soils; geologic units; groundwater; exposure; public health risk arsenic; Florida; soils; geologic units; groundwater; exposure; public health risk
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MDPI and ACS Style

Missimer, T.M.; Teaf, C.M.; Beeson, W.T.; Maliva, R.G.; Woolschlager, J.; Covert, D.J. Natural Background and Anthropogenic Arsenic Enrichment in Florida Soils, Surface Water, and Groundwater: A Review with a Discussion on Public Health Risk. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 2278. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102278

AMA Style

Missimer TM, Teaf CM, Beeson WT, Maliva RG, Woolschlager J, Covert DJ. Natural Background and Anthropogenic Arsenic Enrichment in Florida Soils, Surface Water, and Groundwater: A Review with a Discussion on Public Health Risk. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2018; 15(10):2278. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102278

Chicago/Turabian Style

Missimer, Thomas M.; Teaf, Christopher M.; Beeson, William T.; Maliva, Robert G.; Woolschlager, John; Covert, Douglas J. 2018. "Natural Background and Anthropogenic Arsenic Enrichment in Florida Soils, Surface Water, and Groundwater: A Review with a Discussion on Public Health Risk" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 15, no. 10: 2278. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102278

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