Oral bioaccessibility of metals in an urban catchment, Newcastle upon Tyne

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The metal content was determined in soils from a former, historic, contaminated land site and now a ‘green’ public open space in N.E. England. Using a systematic sampling grid approach, 32 soil samples were taken from locations across the site and analyzed for six potentially toxic elements (Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn). Initially, the pseudo-total metal content of the soils was determined using acid digestion followed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry analysis. This data was evaluated against published soil guideline value (SGV) and generic assessment criteria (GAC) values; it was found that 21% (i.e., 41 samples) exceeded the stated lower values. The data was then compared to the oral bioaccessibility of the soils, which was assessed by an in-vitro gastrointestinal extraction procedure. The results, determined as the % BAF, indicated that overall bioaccessibility was low (\10% BAF) for all the elements studied; the exception was Cd. Given that SGV/GAC values are based on generic land-use categories and not a public open space, as investigated in this work, further work is recommended on developing a qualitative risk assessment at the site to estimate the risks posed to human health via the direct and indirect soil ingestion pathway.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-181
JournalEnvironmental Geochemistry and Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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