Bioaccessibility and size distribution of metals in road dust and roadside soils along a peri-urban transect.Sci Total Environ. 2017 Dec 01; 601-602:89-98.ST
Road dust (RD), together with surface soils, is recognized as one of the main sinks of pollutants in urban environments. Over the last years, many studies have focused on total and bioaccessible concentrations while few have assessed the bioaccessibility of size-fractionated elements in RD. Therefore, the distribution and bioaccessibility of Fe, Mn, Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, Sb and Zn in size fractions of RD and roadside soils (<2.5μm, 2.5-10μm and 10-200μm) have been studied using aqua regia extraction and the Simple Bioaccessibility Extraction Test. Concentrations of metals in soils are higher than legislative limits for Cu, Cr, Ni, Pb and Zn. Fine fractions appear enriched in Fe, Mn, Cu, Pb, Sb and Zn, and 2.5-10μm particles are the most enriched. In RD, Cu, Pb, Sb and Zn derive primarily from non-exhaust sources, while Zn is found in greater concentrations in the <2.5μm fraction, where it most likely has an industrial origin. Elemental distribution across soils is dependent on land use, with Zn, Ni, Cu and Pb being present in higher concentrations at traffic sites. In addition, Fe, Ni and Cr feature greater bioaccessibility in the two finer fractions, while anthropic metals (Cu, Pb, Sb and Zn) do not. In RD, only Zn has significantly higher bioaccessibility at traffic sites compared to background, and the finest particles are always the most bioaccessible; >90% of Pb, Zn and Cu is bioaccessible in the <2.5μm fraction, while for Mn, Ni, Sb, Fe and Cr, values vary from 76% to 5%. In the 2.5-10μm fraction, the values were 89% for Pb, 67% for Zn and 60% for Cu. These results make the evaluation of the bioaccessibility of size-fractionated particles appear to be a necessity for correct estimation of risk in urban areas.