Fractionation of lead in soil by isotopic dilution and sequential extraction

Atkinson, N.R.; Bailey, E.H.; Tye, A.T.; Breward, N.; Young, S.D.. 2011 Fractionation of lead in soil by isotopic dilution and sequential extraction. Environmental Chemistry, 8 (5). 493-500.

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‘Reactivity’ or ‘lability’ of lead is difficult to measure using traditional methods. We investigated the use of isotopic dilution with 204Pb to determine metal reactivity in four soils historically contaminated with contrasting sources of Pb, including (i) petrol-derived Pb, (ii) Pb/Zn minespoil, (iii) long-term sewage sludge application and (iv) 19th century urban waste disposal; total soil Pb concentrations ranged from 217 to 13 600 mg kg–1. A post-spike equilibration period of 3 days and suspension in 5.0 × 10–4 M ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid provided reasonably robust conditions for measuring isotopically exchangeable Pb. However, in acidic organic soils a dilute Ca(NO3)2 electrolyte may be preferable to avoid mobilisation of ‘non-labile’ Pb. Results showed that the reactive pool of soil Pb can be a large proportion of the total soil lead content but varies with the original Pb source. A comparison of isotopic exchangeability with the results of a sequential extraction procedure showed that (isotopically) ‘non-labile’ Pb may be broadly equated with ‘residual’ Pb in organic soils. However, in mineral soils the ‘carbonate’ and ‘oxide-bound’ Pb fractions included non-labile forms of Pb. The individual isotopic signatures of labile and non-labile Pb pools suggested that, despite prolonged contact with soil, differences between the lability of the original contaminant and the native soil Pb may remain.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: BGS Programmes 2010 > Land Use, Planning and Development
ISSN: 1448-2517
Date made live: 09 Mar 2012 15:21 +0 (UTC)

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