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Renewable Energy and Non Renewable Energy

New York, USA
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Identifying natural and anthropogenic sources of metals in urban and rural soils using GIS-based data, PCA, and spatial interpolation

Author(s): Davis HT, Aelion CM, McDermott S, Lawson AB



Determining sources of neurotoxic metals in rural and urban soils is important for mitigating human exposure. Surface soil from four areas with significant clusters of mental retardation and developmental delay (MR/DD) in children, and one control site were analyzed for nine metals and characterized by soil type, climate, ecological region, land use and industrial facilities using readily available GIS-based data. Kriging, principal component analysis (PCA) and cluster analysis (CA) were used to identify commonalities of metal distribution. Three MR/DD areas (one rural and two urban) had similar soil types and significantly higher soil metal concentrations. PCA and CA results suggested that Ba, Be and Mn were consistently from natural sources; Pb and Hg from anthropogenic sources; and As, Cr, Cu, and Ni from both sources. Arsenic had low commonality estimates, was highly associated with a third PCA factor, and had a complex distribution, complicating mitigation strategies to minimize concentrations and exposures.

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