Evaluation of Small Arms Range Soils for Metal Contamination and Lead Bioavailability
ARMY CENTER FOR HEALTH PROMOTION AND PREVENTIVE MEDICINE ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND MD
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Although small arms ranges are known to be contaminated with lead, the full extent of metal contamination has not been described, nor has the oral bioavailability of lead in these soils. In this work, soil samples from ranges with diverse geochemical backgrounds were sieved to 250 microns and analyzed for total metal content. Soils had consistently high levels of lead and copper, ranging from 4549 to 24,484 microgramsg and 223 to 2936 microgramsg, respectively, while arsenic, antimony, nickel, and zinc concentrations were 100-fold lower. For lead bioavailability measurements,two widely accepted methods were used an in vivo juvenile swine relative bioavailability method measuring lead absorption from ingested soils relative to equivalent lead acetate concentrations and an in vitro bioaccessibility procedure which measured acid-extractable lead as a percent of total lead in the soil. For eight samples, the mean relative bioavailability and bioaccessibility of lead for the eight soils was about 100 108 or - 18 and 95 or - 6, respectively showing good agreement between both methods. Risk assessment andor remediation of small arms ranges should therefore assume high bioavailability of lead.
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