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Unraveling the source(s) and fate of Pb in urban soils and sediments of Ibadan metropolis using lead isotopes


In this study an attempt was made to determine the source(s) and nature of Pb in environmental media of Ibadan, one of the largest cities in west Nigeria. Seventy-three samples comprising forty stream sediments, twenty-five soils and eight rocks samples were used for the study. Mineralogical compositions of the samples were determined by X-ray diffraction. The elemental constituents were determined using ICP-MS; while the Pb isotopes were determined using Sector-field ICP-MS. Sequential analysis of selected samples was carried out using a modified Tessier’s five-step method. The dominant minerals identified were quartz, kaolinite, k-feldspar, and plagioclase. The concentrations (mg/kg) of Pb in soils, sediments, and rocks ranged from 13.00–470.00; 89.00–3288.00 and 2.90–20.30, respectively. The 204Pb, 206Pb, 207Pb, 208Pb ranged from 1.72–47.41; 30.69–779.68; 27.00–664.46 and 65.67–1642.27 in the soils and sediments, respectively, while they ranged from 0.02–0.07; 0.56–2.33; 0.38–1.56 and 1.19–4.13 in the rocks. Further evaluation of Pb concentration in the soils and sediments revealed high to extreme Pb pollution status, while the calculated Pb isotopic ratios (IRs) in the soil and sediments varied from that of the underlying bedrocks. The IRS in soils and sediments were characterized by low (1.161–1.172 and 1.127–1.200, and 2.281–2.444 and 2.276–2.474) 206/207 Pb and 208/207 Pb, while those of the rocks were high (1.456–1.753 and 2.647–3.149), indicating additional anthropogenic sourcing of Pb in the soils and sediments. The analyzed Pb revealed fractions more partitioned in the reactive geochemical phases with the Pb partitioned in the exchangeable (0.11–0.23%), carbonate (9.00–43.58%), reducible (8.32–13.53%) and organic/sulfides (42.78–82.45%) phases. This implies that there may be enhanced mobility of Pb in the environmental samples and ultimately bio-adsorption into living tissues in the environment.

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The authors gratefully thank the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments on the manuscript.


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Correspondence to Olubukola O. Afolabi.

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Afolabi, O.O., Olatunji, A.S. Unraveling the source(s) and fate of Pb in urban soils and sediments of Ibadan metropolis using lead isotopes. Environ Geochem Health (2022).

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  • Pb-isotopic ratios
  • Sequential analysis
  • Soils
  • Sediments
  • Ibadan-city