Lead contamination in surface soil on roads from used lead–acid battery recycling in Dong Mai, Northern Vietnam
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Used lead–acid battery (ULAB) recycling has caused numerous health and environmental issues in developing countries. Surface soil pollution from ULAB recycling activities has been linked with elevated levels of lead in human blood. We measured surface soil lead in and surrounding the ULAB recycling village of Hung Yen in northern Vietnam in 2011, 2013, and 2014. The data were analyzed statistically and discussed with respect to distance from the contamination source, year of measurement, contamination pathway, and countermeasures against the contamination. Transportation routes from the smelter or collection site displayed the greatest concentration of surface soil lead (median 6400–10,000 mg/kg). Surface soil lead decreased significantly with distance along the road from the ULAB recycling site, although such a decrease was not observed for rice fields, agricultural roads, or garden soil. Re-suspension and adherence by traffic were identified as key pollution pathways. Distance from the source, covering of the surface of roads, construction of walls, and position relative to the source were shown to be the most effective factors in the reduction of surface soil lead pollution. Application of a combination of these measures should result in improvement in the health of residents.
KeywordsUsed lead–acid battery Lead Surface soil Field portable X-ray fluorescence
We thank those who live in DM village for permission of measurement; CETASD staffs and students (Ha Noi Univ. of Sci.) for providing useful information and coordination in northern Vietnam; T. Noguchi (Ehime Univ.), A. Yoshida (NIES), and M. Kojima (IDE-JETRO) for helping fieldwork in 2011; A. Goto (Ehime Univ.) for helping fieldwork in 2013; and C. Nishimura (Kyoto Univ.), Y. Tsujisawa (Ehime Univ.), N. Uchida (NIES), and V. T. M. Lan (CETASD) for helping fieldwork in 2014.
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