Lab 6 Soil Formal Writeup

Lab 6 Soil Formal Writeup - Investigation into Sources of...

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Investigation into Sources of Lead in Pilsen, Chicago Michael J. Parrott Abstract: Lead is found naturally in the environment. However, high concentrations of lead near communities can cause negative health affects[1]. Citizens and activists of Pilsen, Chicago have complained about lead pollution near their homes [2]. The H. Kramer & Co. smelting plant in Pilsen has been under investigation for lead pollution over the summer. This project was designed to investigate the H. Kramer & Co. plant as a potential source of lead pollution. Soil samples from locations near the plant were taken to determine lead concentrations. The samples were processed for an Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) Spectrometer and the results were compiled in a database. Analysis of lead concentrations with respect to distance from the factory revealed an inverse relationship between distance and lead concentrations, indicating that the factory is a source lead pollution in Pilsen. However, the factory is not the only source of pollution. Samples taken near railroads had high lead concentrations as well. More research into other sources of lead is needed. 1. Introduction : Lead is found in nature, but its concentration in soil is normally low [3]. People can be exposed to soil based lead by ingestion or inhalation of soil or dust [1]. Children are especially susceptible as their small mass does not dilute blood lead levels (BLL) as easily as an adult’s [1]. Areas with high lead concentrations in the soil pose high risks of lead poisoning. High lead concentrations have been defined by the EPA as 400 ppm for child play areas and 1200 ppm for bare soil for other areas [4]. Areas polluted with lead are hazardous for residents. Lead can cause health complications in every system of the body. Specifically, reproductive problems, high blood pressure, nerve disorders, and digestive problems, and hearing and vision impairments are common in poisoned adults[1]. To children under the age of 12, as little as 10 g/dL BLL’s can cause permanent brain damage and retardation, μ anemia, liver and kidney damage, hyperactivity, developmental delays, and even death [5,1]. 1
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Residents of Pilsen have complained of high levels of pollution [2]. Activists have cited that “an overpowering, foul-smelling smoke spews out from the Kramer building” [2]. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency recently investigated complaints in June. Soil samples were taken and lead levels of 65,000 parts per million were found on factory grounds and two adjacent properties [4]. H. Kramer agreed to remove lead from the factory and adjacent properties [4]. This experiment intends to answer a couple valuable questions regarding soil lead concentrations. First, do soil samples from the surrounding area still exceed the EPA’s standards? Second, do concentration values increase linearly as sample are taken closer to the factory? Soil concentrations were determined by ICP analysis. The ICP data can be converted easily into ppm in soil by the calculations outlined in the appendix. The second question can be
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Lab 6 Soil Formal Writeup - Investigation into Sources of...

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