See more from this Session: General Soils and Environmental Quality: II
Monday, November 1, 2010
Long Beach Convention Center, Exhibit Hall BC, Lower Level
Trace elements in urban soils are a concern because of the potential health risks they pose, and previous studies have shown elevated levels of trace metals in Portland, Maine urban soils. Peaks Island, lying approximately 1.5 miles to the east of Portland, Maine, is part of the Portland municipality. It is 720 acres and is home to about 840 year-round residents. During World War II the island was home to a coastal defense battery whose remnants still adorn the ledges, and lead paint has been heavily used by the local fishermen. The island’s military history coupled with the intensive residential and recreational land use gives many residents cause for concern, especially residents interested in preserving the island’s areas of natural beauty and historical importance. The purpose of this research was to investigate the degree of trace element soil contamination on Peaks Island. We sampled surface soil around 43 residences, collecting over 450 samples. Samples were digested using EPA method 3050b. Samples were analyzed for As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb, V, and Zn using ICP-AES. The results showed great variability regarding Pb concentration, even varying by several orders of magnitude within the same house lot. Concentrations of lead and other metals exceeded the EPA allowable limits on many of the properties. Results will be shared with residents, along with educational materials regarding options for remediation.