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Environmental and health risk assessment of Pb, Zn, As and Sb in soccer field soils and sediments from mine tailings: solid speciation and bioaccessibility

Abstract

Areas polluted by the persistent presence of metal(loid)s induce health problems, especially when recreational activities (on land or water) promote human exposure to the pollutants. This study focuses on one of the most encountered worldwide mining waste, i.e. those from the extraction of Pb–Zn–Ag. The representative Pb–Zn-rich tailing (about 64,100 m3) sampled is located near a soccer field and a famous river for fishing. The scientific interests is relative to: (1) mobility and bioaccessibility of metal(oid)s, (2) human risk assessments and (3) relationship between human risks and solid-bearing phases in the environment. Soccer field soils, tailings and sediments from the nearby river were sampled; moreover, metal(loid) speciation (from BCR experiments) and bioaccessibility were measured and solid speciation performed by X-ray diffraction and electron microscopy in order to highlight metal(loid) dispersion and impact. Results demonstrate that the soccer field is highly contaminated by Pb, Zn, As and Sb due primarily to waste runoff. In terms of risk assessment, Pb and As human bioaccessibility highlights the major health risk (48 and 22.5 % of human bioaccessibility, respectively). Since local populations are regularly in close contact with metal(loid)s, the health risk due to pollutant exposure needs to be reduced through sustainable waste disposal and the rehabilitation of polluted sites.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge firstly the anonymous reviewer for their helpful and constructive comments and the Regional Council for the study financial support.

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Correspondence to Marilyne Soubrand.

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Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

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Pascaud, G., Leveque, T., Soubrand, M. et al. Environmental and health risk assessment of Pb, Zn, As and Sb in soccer field soils and sediments from mine tailings: solid speciation and bioaccessibility. Environ Sci Pollut Res 21, 4254–4264 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-013-2297-2

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Keywords

  • Bioaccessibility
  • Mineralogy
  • BCR
  • Soccer field
  • Metals
  • Metalloids