Rapid measurement of heavy metals in soil is an important factor in modeling the effect of industrial pollution on agricultural soil. Conventional methods of heavy metal analysis are relatively slow in terms of measurement/analysis time and sample preparation time with the requirement of skilled manpower. Our results highlight the quantitative analysis of toxic metal lead (Pb), for the first time, in an Indian agricultural soil, in the vicinity of brick-kiln area, Phaphamau, near Allahabad, India, by using a novel technique named as Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS). LIBS spectra of soil has been recorded in the wavelength range from ultraviolet (UV) to infrared region (200–1,100 nm). The suitability of Pb lines for drawing the calibration curve is checked and realized, for the first time, that 220.3 nm, which is observed in the UV region of LIBS spectra, is completely interference free and best suited for the quantification of trace amount of Pb in soil instead of any other Pb lines, because it has best linear regression coefficient and smallest standard deviation of the background signal. In the present work the detection limit for Pb in soil is found to be 45 ppm. Based on the present work the concentration of Pb in agricultural soil of brick-kiln area in Phaphamau is found to be ≅570 ppm, which is more than the regulatory standards imposed by US Environmental Protection Agency (400 ppm) for the presence of lead in soil, therefore, it is of great concern to us.
Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy Soil Brick-kiln Phaphamau Heavy metal Pb