Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 69, Issue 5, pp 1649–1660 | Cite as

Definition of areas of probable risk to human health posed by As and Pb in soils and ground-level dusts of the surrounding area of an abandoned As-sulfide mine in the north of Portugal: part 1

  • Ioana SantosEmail author
  • Eduardo Ferreira da Silva
  • Carla Patinha
  • Ana Cláudia Dias
  • Amélia Paula Reis
Original Article


The aim of this study is to assess the potential health risk posed by As and Pb in the soils of the Pintor mine area. The site was never remediated but a residential area is being constructed in the mine land, next to the smelters, a fact that raised some concern about the probable risk posed by potentially harmful elements in the soil to the health of the residents. 132 samples were collected and analyzed by ICP-MS to determine total metal concentrations. The soluble fraction of As in the soil was obtained using 1 M NH4 Acetate, pH 4.5. To assess the probable risk, total concentrations are compared with the soil guideline value established for the UK. Exposure through soil ingestion is probable in and around the residential area that has higher As and Pb concentrations, and therefore is classified as area with a potential health risk.


Soil Potential health risk Soil guideline value Arsenic Lead 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ioana Santos
    • 1
    Email author
  • Eduardo Ferreira da Silva
    • 1
  • Carla Patinha
    • 1
  • Ana Cláudia Dias
    • 1
  • Amélia Paula Reis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geosciences, GeoBiotec-GeoBiosciences, Geotechnologies and GeoengineeringUniversity of Aveiro, AveiroAveiroPortugal

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