Submitted to: American Public Health Association Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 30, 2002
Publication Date: July 15, 2002
Children's exposure to Pb in exposed soil of residential yards is particularly acute in distressed urban areas in the U.S. with older lead-painted housing in poor condition. This study includes the first systematic examination of the effectiveness of an in situ remediation method of composted biosolids application to lead-contaminated soil for reducing soil lead hazards in residential yards in the urban environment. A composted Baltimore municipal biosolids rich in P and Fe and approved by US EPA for unlimited use in gardens, was applied to 9 sites with mean soil lead concentrations ranging from 800 ppm to 2034 ppm. Bioaccesible lead in soil from these sites ranged from 57% to 84% of total lead. Compost application followed initial rototilling of the soil to the depth 20 cm. The compost was applied evenly across the site in a layer 8-10 cm thick, rototilled into the soil and the site was seeded with grass. The initial rototilling of soil prior to compost application resulted in little if any change in mean soil Pb concentration. The compost application was associated with 13% decrease of mean soil total Pb concentration and with 13% decrease of mean soil bioaccessible Pb concentration in comparison with baseline. Soil testing at 1-year follow-up showed further 21% reduction in mean soil total Pb concentration and 36% reduction in mean soil bioaccessible Pb concentration in comparison to baseline.