Mechanisms to Reduce Risk Potential

  • Ganga M. HettiarachchiEmail author
  • Chammi P. Attanayake
  • Phillip P. Defoe
  • Sabine E. Martin


Urban agriculture is gaining attention as a means to revitalize abandoned urban properties. The recent interest in this practice over the past decades has provided increased food security for low income families and city residents (Lovell 2010). Urban residents can either grow their own food, be part of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program, or gain easier access to affordable supplies of vegetables or fresh produce from local farmers markets – reducing the food deserts in these cities. One of the major challenges of growing vegetables in formerly blighted properties in an urban environment is the possibility of soil contamination. Concerns about the perceived human health risk of gardening in urban soils due to possible or real contamination continue to deter potential gardeners from growing crops on blighted, formerly used properties. Common urban soil contaminants include lead (Pb), arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), zinc (Zn), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) (Spittler 1979; Chaney et al. 1984; Alloway 2004; Roussel et al. 2010). Of these contaminants, Pb is by far the most dominant and wide-spread in urban environments. Soil remediation or managing risk posed by contaminants can be challenging as a result of poor soil quality and the presence of co-contaminants. Options such as raised-bed gardening or soil replacement can be physically and financially restrictive. Therefore, there is a great need for sharing science-based knowledge on risk management associated with Pb and other urban soil contaminants.


Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Urban Soil Test Plot Soil Contaminant Food Desert 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Alloway B (2004) Contamination of soils in domestic gardens and allotments: a brief overview. Land Contam Reclam 12:179–187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anastassiades M, Lehotay SJ, Stajnbaher D, Schenck FJ (2003) Fast and easy multiresidue method employing acetonitrile extraction/partitioning and dispersive solid-phase extraction for the determination of pesticide residues in produce. J AOAC Int 86:412–431PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Antelo JM, AvenaS F, Lopez R, Arce F (2005) Effects of pH and ironing strength on the adsorption of phosphate and arsenate at the goethite-water interphase. J Colloid Interface Sci 285:476–486CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Attanayake C, Hettiarachchi GM, Van der Merwe D, Pierzynski GM (2013) Transfer of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from urban soils to humans via dermal absorption. ASA/SSSA/CSA annual meetings, October 2013, Tampa, FLGoogle Scholar
  5. Attanayake CP, Hettiarachchi GM, Harms A, Presley D, Martin S, Pierzynski GM (2014) Field evaluations on soil plant transfer of lead from an urban garden soil. J Environ Qual 43:475–487CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Attanayake CP, Hettiarachchi GM, Martin S, Pierzynski GM (2015) Potential bioavailability of lead, arsenic, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in compost-amended urban soils. J Environ Qual 44:930–944CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Brown SL, Chaney R, Berti B (1999) Field test of amendments to reduce the in situ availability of soil lead. In Wenzel WW, Adrian DC, Alloway B, Doner HE, Keller C, Mench M, Naidu R, Pierzynski GM (eds) Proceedings of the 5th international conference on the biogeochemistry of trace elements. 11–15 July, International Society of Trace Element Biogeochemistry, Vienna, pp 506–507Google Scholar
  8. Brown SL, Clausen I, Chappell MA, Scheckel KG, Newville M, Hettiarachchi GM (2012) High-iron biosolids compost-induced changes in lead and arsenic speciation and bioaccessibility in co-contaminated soils. J Environ Qual 41:1612–1622CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Chaney RL, Sterrett SB, Mielke HW (1984) The potential for heavy metal exposure from urban gardens and soils. In: Washington DC, Preer JR (eds) Proceedings of the symposium on heavy metals in urban gardens. University of the District of Columbia Extension Service, Washington, DC, pp 37–84Google Scholar
  10. Cotter-Howells J, Caporn S (1996) Remediation of contaminated land by formation of heavy metal phosphates. Appl Geochem 11:335–342CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Defoe PP, Hettiarachchi GM, Benedict C, Martin S (2014) Safety of gardening on lead- and arsenic-contaminated urban brownfields. J Environ Qual. doi: 10.2134/jeq2014.03.0099 PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. FAO/WHO-CODEX (2010) Codex general standard for contaminants and toxins in food and feed: Codex standards. Amended edition. First published 1995. Accessed 28 Jan 2016
  13. Dixit S, Hering JG (2003) Comparison of arsenic (V) and arsenic (III) sorption on iron oxide mineral: implication for arsenic mobility. Environ Sci Technol 37:4182–4189CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Guan X, Dong H, ma J, Jiang L (2009) Removal of arsenic from water: effects of competing anions on as(III) removal in KMnO 4-Fe(II) process. Water Res 43:3891–3899CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Hettiarachchi GM, Pierzynski GM (2004) Soil lead bioavailability and in situ remediation of lead contaminated soils: a review. Environ Prog 23:78–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hettiarachchi GM, Pierzynski GM, Ransom MD (2001) In situ stabilization of soil lead using phosphorus. J Environ Qual 30:1214–1221CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Hettiarachchi GM, Pierzynski GM (2002) In situ stabilization of soil lead using phosphorus and manganese oxide: Influence of plant growth. J Environ Qual 31:564–572CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Juhasz AL, Smith E, Weber J, Rees M, Rofe A, Kuchel T, Sansom L, Naidu R (2007) In vitro assessment of arsenic bioaccessibility in contaminated (anthropogenic and geogenic) soils. Chemosphere 69:69–78CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Juhasz AL, Weber J, Smith E, Naidu R, Rees M, Rofe A, Kuchel T, Sansom L (2009) Assessment of four commonly employed in vitro arsenic bioaccessibility assays for predicting in vivo relative arsenic bioavailability in contaminated soils. Environ Sci Technol 43:9487–9494CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Laperche V, Traina SJ, Gaddam P, Logan TJ (1996) Chemical and mineralogical characterizations of Pb in a contaminated soil: reactions with synthetic apatite. Environ Sci Technol 30:3321–3326CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Laperche V, Logan TJ, Gaddam P, Traina SJ (1997) Effect of apatite amendments on plant uptake of lead from contaminated soil. Environ Sci Technol 31:2745–2753CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Li L, Scheckel KG, Zheng L, Liu G, Xing W, Xiang G (2014) Immobilization of lead in soil influenced by soluble phosphate and calcium: lead speciation evidence. J Environ Qual 43:468–474CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Lindsay WL (1979) Chemical equilibria in soils. Wiley, NYGoogle Scholar
  24. Lovell ST (2010) Multifunctional urban agriculture for sustainable land use planning in the United States. Sustainability 2:2499–2522CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ma QY, Traina SJ, Logan TJ, Ryan JA (1993) In situ lead immobilization by apatite. Environ Sci Technol 27:1803–1810CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Manning B, Goldberg S (1996) Modelling competitive adsorption of arsenate with phosphate and molybdate on oxide minerals. Soil Sci Soc Am J 60:121–131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Medlin EA (1997) An in vitro method for estimating the relative bioavailability of lead in humans. M.S. thesis. Dep. of Geological Sci., Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, COGoogle Scholar
  28. Nriagu JO (1984) Formation and stability of base metal phosphates in soils and sediments. In: Nriagu JO, Moore PB (eds) Phosphate minerals. Springer, BerlinCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Oomen AG, Hack A, Minekus M, Zeijdner E, Cornelis C, Schoeters G, Verstraete W, Van dW, Wragg J, Rompelberg CJM, Sips AJAM, Van Wijnen JH (2002) Comparison of five in vitro digestion models to study the bioaccessibility of soil contaminants. Environ Sci Technol 36:3326–3334CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Pierce M, Moore C (1982) Adsorption of arsenite and arsenate on amorphous iron hydroxide. Water Res 16(7):1247–1253CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Raven KP, Jain A, Loeppeet RH (1998) Arsenite and arsenate adsorption on ferrihydrite: kinetics, equilibrium, and adsorption envelopes. Environ Sci Technol 31:344–349CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Rodriguez RR, Basta NT, Casteel SW, Pace LW (1999) An in vitro gastrointestinal method to estimate bioavaiable arsenic in contaminated soils and solid media. Environ Sci Technol 33:642–649CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Roussel H, Waterlot C, Pelfrêne A, Pruvot C, Mazzuca M, Douay F (2010) Cd, Pb and Zn oral bioaccessibility of urban soils contaminated in the past by atmospheric emissions rom two lead and zinc smelters. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 58:945–954CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Ruby MV, Davis A, Schoof R, Eberle S, Sellstone CM (1996) Estimation of lead and arsenic bioavailability using a physiologically based extraction test. Environ Sci Technol 30:422–430CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Scheckel KG, Diamond G, Burgess M, Klotzbach J, Maddaloni M, Miller B, Partridge C, Serda S (2013) Amending soils with phosphate as means to mitigate soil lead hazard: a critical review of the state of the science. J Toxic Environ Health B: Crit Rev 16:337–380CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Slizovskiy IB, White JC, Kelsey JW (2010) Technical note: evaluation of extraction methodologies for the determination of an organochlorine pesticide residue in vegetation. Int J Phytoremediation 12:820–832CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Smith E, Naidu R, Alston A (2002) Chemsitry of inorganic arsenic in soils:II. Effect of phosphorus, sodium, and calcium on arsenic sorption. J Environ Qual 31:557–563CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Smith E, Kempson IM, Juhasz AL, Weber J, Rofe A, Gancarz D, Naidu R, McLaren RG, Grafe M (2011) In vivo-in vitro and XANES spectroscopy assessments of lead bioavailability in contaminated periurban soils. Environ Sci Technol 45:6145–6152CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Spittler TM, Feder WA (1979) A study of soil contamination and plant lead uptake in Boston urban gardens. Commun Soil Sci Plant Anal 10:1195–1210. doi: 10.1080/00103627909366973 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. USEPA (2011) Reusing potentially contaminated landscapes: growing gardens in urban soils. U.S. Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation, Environmental Protection Agency. Accessed 22 Mar 2014
  41. USEPA (2012) Standard operating procedure for an in vitro bioaccessibility assay for lead in soil. USEPA 9200.2-86. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Accessed 06 Jul 2013
  42. Zhao F-J, McGrath SP, Meharg AA (2010) Arsenic as a food chain contaminant: mechanisms of plant uptake and metabolism and mitigation strategies. Annu Rev Plant Physiol Plant Mol Biol 61:535–559CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ganga M. Hettiarachchi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Chammi P. Attanayake
    • 1
  • Phillip P. Defoe
    • 1
  • Sabine E. Martin
    • 1
  1. 1.Kansas State UniversityManhattanUSA

Personalised recommendations