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Environmental impact in a rural community due to a lead recycling plant in Zacatecas, Mexico

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A study was conducted to determine the concentrations of lead in soil and plants samples due to the exposure of emission from a metal-recycling plant in a rural community in Zacatecas, Mexico. The lead levels in the soils were determined as having cultivated crops, medicinal plants, and wild plants. Also, other potential sources of lead exposure, as firewood, a cooking glazed vessel, and soils from three houses were analyzed. Samples were analyzed with the energy dispersive X-ray technique. The average lead soil sample was 4940 µg/g, and the Pb average levels in firewood ashes was 207 ± 73 μg/g. The mean lead concentrations in edible parts of Zea mays, Capsicum annuum, and Avena sativa were 1551, 1474, and 1056 μg/g, respectively. Wild plants species showed very high lead concentration especially Acacia schaffneri, Buddleja scordioides, Tillandsia recurvata, Opuntia streptacantha and Amaranthus hybridus. The lead contamination path was through the emission of the metal-recycling plant.

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Correspondence to Miguel Angel Salas-Luevano.

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Salas-Luevano, M.A., Vega-Carrillo, H.R. Environmental impact in a rural community due to a lead recycling plant in Zacatecas, Mexico. Environ Earth Sci 75, 408 (2016).

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