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Article

Use of Radioisotope Ratios of Lead for the Identification of Historical Sources of Soil Lead Contamination in Santa Ana, California

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Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Program in Public Health, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA
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Department of Health, Society, and Behavior, Program in Public Health, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA
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Department of Chicano/Latino Studies, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA
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Orange County Environmental Justice, Santa Ana, CA 92705, USA
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Jóvenes Cultivando Cambios, Santa Ana, CA 92705, USA
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Community Resilience, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA
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School of Humanities, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Myung Chae Jung
Toxics 2022, 10(6), 304; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics10060304
Received: 5 May 2022 / Revised: 31 May 2022 / Accepted: 1 June 2022 / Published: 3 June 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heavy Metal Contamination in Soil and Health Risks)
Lead (Pb) is an environmental neurotoxicant that has been associated with a wide range of adverse health conditions, and which originates from both anthropogenic and natural sources. In California, the city of Santa Ana represents an urban environment where elevated soil lead levels have been recently reported across many disadvantaged communities. In this study, we pursued a community-engaged research approach through which trained “citizen scientists” from the surrounding Santa Ana community volunteered to collect soil samples for heavy metal testing, a subset of which (n = 129) were subjected to Pb isotopic analysis in order to help determine whether contamination could be traced to specific and/or anthropogenic sources. Results showed the average 206Pb/204Pb ratio in shallow soil samples to be lower on average than deep samples, consistent with shallow samples being more likely to have experienced historical anthropogenic contamination. An analysis of soil Pb enrichment factors (EFs) demonstrated a strong positive correlation with lead concentrations, reinforcing the likelihood of elevated lead levels being due to anthropogenic activity, while EF values plotted against 206Pb/204Pb pointed to traffic-related emissions as a likely source. 206Pb/204Pb ratios for samples collected near historical urban areas were lower than the averages for samples collected elsewhere, and plots of 206Pb/204Pb against 206Pb/207 showed historical areas to exhibit very similar patterns to those of shallow samples, again suggesting lead contamination to be anthropogenic in origin, and likely from vehicle emissions. This study lends added weight to the need for health officials and elected representatives to respond to community concerns and the need for soil remediation to equitably protect the public. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban soil; Pb exposure; environmental justice; lead isotope; heavy metal urban soil; Pb exposure; environmental justice; lead isotope; heavy metal
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MDPI and ACS Style

Masri, S.; LeBrón, A.M.W.; Logue, M.D.; Flores, P.; Ruiz, A.; Reyes, A.; Rubio, J.M.; Wu, J. Use of Radioisotope Ratios of Lead for the Identification of Historical Sources of Soil Lead Contamination in Santa Ana, California. Toxics 2022, 10, 304. https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics10060304

AMA Style

Masri S, LeBrón AMW, Logue MD, Flores P, Ruiz A, Reyes A, Rubio JM, Wu J. Use of Radioisotope Ratios of Lead for the Identification of Historical Sources of Soil Lead Contamination in Santa Ana, California. Toxics. 2022; 10(6):304. https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics10060304

Chicago/Turabian Style

Masri, Shahir, Alana M.W. LeBrón, Michael D. Logue, Patricia Flores, Abel Ruiz, Abigail Reyes, Juan M. Rubio, and Jun Wu. 2022. "Use of Radioisotope Ratios of Lead for the Identification of Historical Sources of Soil Lead Contamination in Santa Ana, California" Toxics 10, no. 6: 304. https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics10060304

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