Lead in residential soil and dust in a mining and smelting district in northern Armenia: A pilot study

Varduhi Petrosyan, Anna Orlova, Charles E. Dunlap, Emil Babayan, Mark Farfel, Margrit Von Braun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This pilot study of sources of lead exposure in residential settings was conducted in a mining and smelting district in northern Armenia. Samples of exterior soil and dust and interior house dust were collected in and around apartment buildings in Alaverdi where the country's largest polymetallic smelter is located, and in nearby mining towns of Aghtala and Shamlugh. The NITON XL-723 Multi-Element XRF analyzer was used for lead testing. Lead levels in samples from Alaverdi were higher than those in Shamlugh and Aghtala. In all three towns, the highest lead levels were found in loose exterior dust samples, and lead concentrations in yard soil were higher than those in garden soil. Many soil samples (34%) and the majority of loose dust samples (77%) in Alaverdi exceeded the US Environmental Protection Agency standard of 400mg/kg for bare soil in children's play areas. In addition, 36% of floor dust samples from apartments in Alaverdi exceeded the US Environmental Protection Agency standard of 40μg/ft2 for lead loading in residential floor dust. The Armenian Ministry of Health and other interested agencies are being informed about the findings of the study so that they can consider and develop educational and preventive programs including blood lead screening among sensitive populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-308
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Research
Volume94
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2004

Keywords

  • Armenia
  • Lead
  • Residential soil and dust
  • Smelter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)

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