Lead in New York City Soils

  • Ireyena Li
  • Zhongqi ChengEmail author
  • Anna Paltseva
  • Tatiana Morin
  • Brianne Smith
  • Richard Shaw
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Geography book series (SPRINGERGEOGR)


Urban soil is a sink for anthropogenic lead (Pb) and the latter is a persistent threat to human health, especially to children and the gardening population. In the past decade, several organizations have tested soil samples for Pb in New York City. Here we summarize the available soil Pb data for New York City and create a spatial distribution map. The highest Pb levels were present in the oldest parts of the city, and mostly industrial and high traffic areas. There is overlap between high Pb areas with areas of high population density and high poverty rates. The analyses help delineate parts of the city that are most affected, possible sources of Pb, and where to prioritize resources for mitigation and remediation.


Lead Soil New York City GIS map 



Colleen Simon and Zaw Win Naing from Midwood High School assisted in data entry and testing of some of the samples with a handheld XRF analyzer. The authors appreciate the following organizations for allowing us to include their soil Pb in this study: Brooklyn College Soil Testing Lab, New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), and the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), USDA National Cooperative Soil Survey, US EPA SoilSHOP (formerly Soil Kitchen).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ireyena Li
    • 1
  • Zhongqi Cheng
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anna Paltseva
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tatiana Morin
    • 1
  • Brianne Smith
    • 1
  • Richard Shaw
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Brooklyn CollegeThe City University of New YorkBrooklynUSA
  2. 2.PhD Program in Earth and Environmental SciencesGraduate Center of The City University of New YorkNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.USDA-NRCS Soil SurveySomersetUSA

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