Urban-Soil Pedogenesis Drives Contrasting Legacies of Lead from Paint and Gasoline in City Soil.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

This study analyzed the impact of urban-soil pedogenesis on soil lead (Pb) contamination from paint and gasoline in the historic core of Durham, North Carolina. Total soil Pb in 1000 samples from streetsides, residential properties, and residual upland and floodplains ranged from 6 to 8825 mg/kg (mean = 211 mg/kg), with 50% of samples between 50 and 200 mg/kg soil Pb. The highest Pb concentrations were within 1 m of pre-1978 residential foundations, with concentrations inversely correlated with house age. Streetside soil Pb concentrations were elevated over the geologic background of <30 mg/kg and correlated with traffic flow. Streetside soil Pb concentrations were lower than Durham streetside soils collected in the 1970s, which was attributed to urban pedogenesis, the complex of natural and human processes that change soils over time. Accelerated erosion redistributes legacy Pb and floodplain sampling indicates sedimentation rates of up to 4 mm/year. Mixing and burial of soil with elevated Pb are also lowering soil Pb concentrations over time. These mechanisms are likely of greater significance on streetsides than near foundation soils. The development of an urban-pedogenesis framework can help guide public health approaches to Pb exposure by incorporating pedogenic processes that reduce and dissipate soil Pb contamination.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Wade, AM; Richter, DD; Craft, CB; Bao, NY; Heine, PR; Osteen, MC; Tan, KG

Published Date

  • June 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 55 / 12

Start / End Page

  • 7981 - 7989

PubMed ID

  • 34019756

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1520-5851

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0013-936X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1021/acs.est.1c00546


  • eng