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Determination of the bioaccessibility of chromium in Glasgow soil and the implications for human health risk assessment

Broadway, Andrew; Cave, Mark R.; Wragg, Joanna; Fordyce, Fiona M.; Bewley, Richard J.F.; Graham, Margaret C.; Ngwenya, Bryne T.; Farmer, John G.. 2010 Determination of the bioaccessibility of chromium in Glasgow soil and the implications for human health risk assessment. Science of the Total Environment, 409 (2). 267-277. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2010.09.007

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Abstract/Summary

The Unified Bioaccessibility Method (UBM), which simulates the fluids of the human gastrointestinal tract, was used to assess the oral bioaccessibility of Cr in 27 Glasgow soils. These included several contaminated with Cr(VI), the most toxic form of Cr, from the past disposal of chromite ore processing residue (COPR). The extraction was employed in conjunction with the subsequent determination of the bioaccessible Cr by ICP-OES and Cr(VI) by the diphenylcarbazide complexation colorimetric procedure. In addition, Cr(III)-containing species were determined by (i) HPLC-ICP-MS and (ii) ICP-OES analysis of gel electrophoretically separated components of colloidal and dissolved fractions from centrifugal ultrafiltration of extracts. Similar analytical procedures were applied to the determination of Cr and its species in extracts of the < 10 μm fraction of soils subjected to a simulated lung fluid test to assess the inhalation bioaccessibility of Cr. The oral bioaccessibility of Cr was typically greater by a factor of 1.5 in the ‘stomach’ (pH ~ 1.2) compared with the ‘stomach + intestine’ (pH ~ 6.3) simulation. On average, excluding two COPR-contaminated soil samples, the oral bioaccessibility (‘stomach’) was 5% of total soil Cr and, overall, similar to the soil Cr(VI) concentration. Chromium(VI) was not detected in the extracts, a consequence of pH- and soil organic matter-mediated reduction in the ‘stomach’ to Cr(III)-containing species, identified as predominantly Cr(III)-humic complexes. Insertion of oral bioaccessible fraction data into the SNIFFER human health risk assessment model identified site-specific assessment criteria (for residential land without plant uptake) that were exceeded by the soil total Cr (3680 mg kg-1) and Cr(VI) (1485 mg kg-1) concentration at only the most COPR-Cr(VI)-contaminated location. However, the presence of measurable Cr(VI) in the < 10 μm fraction of the two most highly Cr(VI)-contaminated soils demonstrated that inhalation of Cr(VI)-containing dust remains the most potentially harmful exposure route.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2010.09.007
Programmes: BGS Programmes 2010 > Land Use, Planning and Development
ISSN: 0048-9697
Date made live: 06 Dec 2010 17:23
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/12578

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